Parenting with Positivism : Issue 2

Rains! All of us have fond memories of the rains and monsoons from our childhood — unplanned school holidays, splashing in muddy puddles, getting wet in rain, sitting home with friends and siblings and having a lot of fun with mouth-watering food to meet the monsoon mood. As you go into flashback, remember, your little one will also love the rains and monsoon season, the fresh new leaves on the trees, that nice smell of the wet soil, getting wet and splashing muddy puddle- just as you did in your time! With all the jubilant moments, the rainy season also accompanies with it humid weather, flooded roads, mosquitoes and water flies, and different types of diseases, etc. With a little care and precaution you can let your children enjoy this beautiful season and also keep them safe from diseases. 

Preparing for sending your kid to school (singing) in the rains!

  • Be ready for the rains: Umbrellas, raincoats, rubber shoes- keep it ready. If its raining or looks like it would, please send your child to school accordingly. (Psst: If it feels like a downpour, won’t hurt to call the school to check if they’re open!)
  • Avoid sudden exposure to fluctuating temperatures.
  • Cover exposed parts of the body – arms and legs, when going outdoors. Further, mosquito repellent patches are easily available over the counter. Use them.
  • Food and water hygiene must be maintained. Stay away from roadside food stalls and uncovered raw food, also ensuring you wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Be extra careful about drinking water including ice.
  • Personal hygiene is equally important. Make sure your children always wash their hands with soap and water before touching any food and also their arms and legs in case there is any contact with dirty water. Personal hygiene also includes ensuring no stagnant water in your vicinity, to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
  • In case your child has fever/ cold/ skin rash:: No self-medication at all. (This of course, is not a seasonal precaution and must be maintained at all times). There are several preventive vaccines that can be taken to combat many seasonal infections such as Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Meningitis, Influenza, Pneumococcal, Chicken pox etc. To know whether your child can be given any of the above vaccines, and for fever above 102 F and/or carrying on for two days, plan for a blood test in consultation with your doctor

Besides the above a few more things should also be kept in mind while sending kids to school on a rainy day:

  • First put their books in a plastic bag then keep it in their school bag, it will keep their books dry and safe.
  • Make sure your kids carry handkerchief (perhaps in the top flap of the school bag) with them so that they can wipe the water on their hands while touching books and other things once they reach into classroom.
  • Talk to your kids! Tell your children about the hazards of getting wet in rain so they should not leave their classrooms during rain.
  • Pack a healthy lunch in for their mid-day meal in a vacuum tight container so that it won’t get affected due to moisture and they will eat it properly in their lunch box. No one likes a soggy sandwich, right?
  • If possible give them boiled water after cooling in their water bottles so they won’t drink water from taps connected to tanks which might get bacteria in the rainy season.
  • As soon as your children come back home from school in the rainy season try to bathe them in lukewarm water with a good antiseptic solution such as Dettol or Savlon, which reduces the chances of germs affecting their skin.
  • In the rainy season try to keep children inside home and give them lots of fun learning toys,games, books, art & craft sets, Do-It-Yourself Kits etc., which can keep them engaged and render non-stop fun and knowledge throughout the season.

It is important to stay hydrated as a lot of water leaves your body as sweat during the humid monsoons. Due to the humidity, the body is at its lowest in terms of digestion capacity. So try not to indulge your child by letting him/her eat too much of fried or rich foods as this will lead to a stomach upset. Instead opt for something that is steamed or grilled. Try to include foods that are rich in anti-oxidants such as different gourds, pumpkins, capsicum, berries etc. as they will help boost your child’s immune system and keep those pesky monsoon sniffles and coughs away.

Absolutely avoid fruit or vegetable juices from stalls or bandis as we will not know what kind of water or ice they use and they carry a high risk of contamination especially since water borne diseases are common during this season. Switch to coconut water or homemade fruit juices instead. Avoid eating raw foods such as pre-cut fruit, sprouts or salads, especially outside. Go for something that is cooked instead.

 

Seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, bananas, peaches, pears etc. can be consumed however it is best to avoid water-based fruits such as watermelon and musk melons as they attract bacteria whose presence is increased during the monsoons. All leafy greens and foods that come from the ground like carrots or cabbage should be thoroughly washed and preferably boiled before consumption. Paani puri, chuski ice, etc are a strict no-no. Avoid semi-cooked meals.