Tips to protect your children during summer

  • The most common illnesses that occur to children during the summer and how to avoid them

Summer is the longest season in the UAE. With the summer break around the corner, children are prone to a number of allergies and infections. The most common issues seen in children during the summer are dehydration, heat stroke, dry skin, fungal infections in the foot, and sun burn.

Dehydration and heat exhaustion can happen very quickly during the summer and it is very important to drink lots of water and electrolytes to stay hydrated at all times. Fresh fruit juices with no added sugar are a great source of electrolytes. School going children need plenty of fluids because they may play outside in the heat.

Heat stroke results in high body temperature, rapidly increased breathing, and fast pulse. To avoid this one must avoid direct sun rays and heat. During the summer, it is best to avoid being outside during peak sun hours.

Dry skin, rashes and sun burn are common skin problems seen in children and adults during summers. Dry skin is caused due to dehydration, which one must drink lots of water to avoid. Keeping the skin moisturized at all times is also important to avoid dryness. Rashes are caused due to excess sweating caused by the heat. Sun burn is generally seen in people with less melanin or lighter skin color, although this doesn’t rule out the probability of children with darker skin developing sun burns.

Food poisoning is also rather common during summers. Food must always be kept covered at all times if it is kept outside.

Infections like cold and flu, respiratory allergies etc. are also commonly seen in children once they return back to school after summer vacation, particularly if the return is from a very different climate.

  • The dangers of spending too much time in the sun and how to avoid a sun stroke

The sun can have negative and positive effects on the body. Too much exposure can cause skin cancer and too little exposure can cause Vitamin D deficiency. Lack of vitamin D can cause rickets in children. However, kids do not need to be by the pool or go to the beach to get too much sun. Spending too much time in the heat can cause heat exhaustion and sun stroke. Sun burns in children are also major risk factors as even a few sunburns put them at the potential risk of developing skin cancer at later stages in life. Children have sensitive skin and their skin can be damaged by the UV rays in 15 minutes. If you notice your child’s skin turning pink under the sun, make sure to get the child out of the sun immediately.

Children’s skin needs protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun when they are outdoors. UV rays are the strongest and most harmful during the day and it is best to keep kids indoors during that time of the day. However, school going children need to be advised to seek shade when outdoors or carry an umbrella to prevent exposure from direct sunlight. Wearing the right type of clothing is also important to protect the skin from sunlight, tightly woven fabrics, loose fitting cotton clothes, long sleeved clothes provide the best protection. Sunscreen is an essential but often ignored product as people are unaware of its need. Sunscreen must be applied for children and adults whenever they go outside and must be re-applied during the day. However, applying sunscreen doesn’t imply any harm to your child’s skin. Sunscreen can also be mixed with other products that protect the skin from UV rays. If the child has severe symptoms like unconsciousness, confusion or seizures, one must call 999 for an ambulance for professional treatment.

Children are easily prone to sun stroke than adults. Before suffering from a heat stroke the child will depict symptoms like excessive sweating, clammy skin, dizziness, tiredness and high body temperature. In such cases the child must be brought to a cooler place with air conditioning or in front of a fan and wet the child with cold water and get them to drink fluids like water, rehydration fluids or fruit juices.

  • Falling down and injuries while playing. Top tips for parents on how to react to this

Children react to injuries depending on their age and the severity of the injury. Children are at an inquisitive age where everything fascinates them and they are curious about most things. It is common for kids to fall and hurt themselves while playing. A lot of times injuries sustained while playing are not too serious as sometimes there is just a minor bruise and otherwise children cry when they see your reaction. If children fall but there is no blood loss involved you could probably comment on it by asking them if they are fine or if they need help. If the child has a bruise it is only obvious that you address the wound with an antiseptic or a Band-Aid and tell them how they are brave enough to handle the injury.

As parents, you can try and prevent injuries by baby proofing the house to ensure all sharp edges and corners are safe.


Dr. Janki's summer tips for children











Dr. Janki Mayur Panchal

Specialist Paediatrician

Aster Clinic, Al Barsha


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.