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Here's why heat wave causing dehydration in kids aged 3-15, expert explains

Protect your children from heat exhaustion, dehydration, and other heat-related illnesses during a heat wave. Learn valuable tips from paediatricians to keep them safe and hydrated.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: April 20, 2024 10:42 IST
Heat wave kids
Image Source : GOOGLE Here's why heat wave dehydrates kids, expert explains

A heat wave is an unusually high temperature (above normal temperature during summer). With rising mercury, the country is witnessing heat wave conditions inviting dehydration in children belonging to the age group 3-15 years, sometimes even in the younger kids.

Heat waves are taking a toll on people of all age groups across the country leading to fainting, dizziness, light-headedness, and unconsciousness in adults as well as children. “Playing and exercising outside improves the child's physical and mental health. However, doing these activities in extreme heat is not advisable for children. High temperatures and extreme heat make children sick as they can suffer from dehydration (due to excessive sweating), heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke (a medical emergency demanding timely intervention). Dehydration leads to fluid loss in the body and the child will exhibit symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache, light-headedness, dry mouth, weariness, and a reduction in urine output. High heat can also make everyone more irritable and anxious causing breathlessness and one may require hospital admission.” says Dr. Sanju Sidaraddi, Consultant - Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai

Dr Sanju added,” The number of children presenting with dehydration is increasing, especially since last month. We are observing around 5 to 6 patients per week. Children often neglect water intake especially when they are playing outdoors. Drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcoholic or sweetened beverages will help you keep hydrated and healthy.” 

Dr Vrukshal Shamkuwar, Consultant Head PICU And Paediatrics, Medicover Hospitals, Navi Mumbai said, “Dehydration cases are surging in children aged 4-10, due to the scorching heat. Signs and symptoms of dehydration in children are tiredness, thirst, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy, and feeling too hot.  Heat exhaustion can bring on dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, muscle pain, and sometimes even unconsciousness. Encourage them to take breaks during playtime to drink fluids regularly - aim for at least 13 glasses of water a day. Keep children out of direct sunlight and ensure they drink enough water or other lemonade with ice chips. Consider making a homemade oral rehydration solution and giving it to the child from time to time.”

Complications of dehydration are seizures, brain damage, or even death. “Parents should monitor the water intake of children. It is the need of the hour for children to drink at least 10 glasses of water per day. Avoid playing or exercising when there is scorching heat outside especially from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Wear caps, and hats while going to school or classes. Children should wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton and have homemade oral rehydrating solution,” concluded Dr Sanju.

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