As summer sets in, people are ready with their sunscreens and cotton clothes to beat the heat. However, summer care for infants and children is different from adults. Their skin and body don't need tender care and the products which the adults use cannot be used on them. We bring to you some simple steps to protect your kids from the harsh sun rays and heat during summer.
In an exclusive chat with IBT India, Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni, MBBS, MD, consultant dermatologist & cosmetologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru shared some tips to keep kids safe during summer.
Summers can dehydrate kids if they don't have enough fluids. Since they spend a lot of time playing, they're bound to sweat more. So, parents should be careful and keep providing healthy fluids to the kids to prevent dehydration.
Sravya said: "Keep them well hydrated. Frequent 20-minute breaks between physical activity even if they aren't thirsty. Know the weather condition and plan accordingly keep the young athletes well ventilated - clothing wise. They should wear lightweight, light-colored clothes."
She added: "Keep an eye on all the kids during their sports activities for signs. Let them get acclimatized to the heat. Slowly increase the intensity and length of workouts over 10 to 14 days. This helps train their bodies."
Summer skincare routine for kids and adults are not same. Their skin is more sensitive and therefore, it's not safe to use any product that's recommended for adults.
Sravya suggests: "For infants between 0-2 years of age, avoid taking them out during midday as the sun is harsh then. It is best to have early morning or evening walks /strolls/activities. Also because sunscreen isn't recommended for kids this age."
For children between the age group of 2-5, she suggests: "Physical sunscreens recommended. Don't depend on the caps, umbrellas, protective clothing alone. Avoid sunlight between 11 am — 4 pm."
Home remedies for heat rashes
Rashes are very common in summer. Hot, humid days cause rashes on the shoulder, back, nappy area and on the skin folds. You can treat these at home itself.
Sravya suggests: "Bathe or shower in cool water with nondrying soap, then let your skin air-dry instead of toweling off. Use calamine lotion or cool compresses to calm itchy, irritated skin."
It is better to avoid using creams and ointments that contain petroleum or mineral oil, which can block pores further.
She further added: "Yogurt has been known to have both, a cooling and soothing effect on the skin. Apply cold yogurt to the affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash with cold water and pat dry."
Another remedy for treating rashes is using aloe vera gel. Sravya explained: "Aloe Vera gel is soothing and a lot of people have a plant at home itself. Cucumbers have a cooling and soothing effect too and so does rose water."
To use rose water on rashes, she suggests taking 200 milliliters of rose water, four tablespoon honey and 200 milliliters pure water. She explained: "Mix together and freeze in an ice tray. Take these ice cubes, four to five at a time, and wrap them in a soft muslin cloth. Press the bundle gently on prickly heat affected areas."
Sravya also suggested using the fuller earth for rashes. She said: "Take two tablespoons of mint paste, three tablespoons of fuller earth powder and enough cold milk to make a smooth paste. Apply this on the skin and let it dry. It is preferable that you sit under a fan whenever you are doing these treatments and always pat dry the skin with a very soft towel."