During the summer vacations, on a bright sunny day, we decided to visit an adventure park. My son was bored at home and wanted some activity. We had the park map, had researched online on which sections to cover and what all to do. We had my son’s water bottle and light snacks handy. We were totally prepared and planned for an action packed day. We went on several rides with him enjoying ourselves. It turned out to be super fun for us as well. I offered him water at regular intervals to make sure he stayed hydrated in the scorching heat. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and soon after that I felt a little dizzy. Yes, I-not my son- felt dizzy and within moments fainted. A huge crowd collected around me and my husband and son came running (as I was told later). In the meantime, a helpful lady sprinkled some water on my face and tried to wake me up. When I opened my eyes she offered me her water bottle to drink. I had a few sips and was helped up. The park’s medical team came to me with a wheel chair to take me to the medical centre. I was in such a daze that I couldn’t even thank the sweet lady.
On my bumpy yet hasty ride on the wheelchair, my son and husband were walking – almost jogging besides me to keep up the pace. My son – who is a talkative active boy, was awfully silent all through. He inquired from his dad what happened to mamma. My husband was distracted at first and did not reply instantly. My son started howling and got very upset seeing the situation. He remarked “Where are they taking mamma? I want to go with her too!” My husband consoled him and said “Everything is fine. We are just taking her to the doctor for a quick check up.” At the centre, they checked my BP, sugar, history, last meal details – everything. When all was satisfactory they said it’s probably just dehydration. They recommended a few bottles of water with ORS. That was a relief for us. All this while I focused on keeping my son hydrated without bothering to drink water myself. That day, my son learnt a new term “heat stroke” and used it generously for the next few weeks for any form of sickness. He narrated this incident over and over again as an exciting story with all the drama and his special effects like “Mamma fell on the ground with a thump” and “Mamma didn’t drink water that’s why!” But I was happy that we had all learnt our lesson – though the hard way. He even claimed one day “Mamma please can you carry me home, I think I’m having a heat stroke and can’t walk!” I dismissed his claim and silently prayed to God that it doesn’t happen to him.
Then a few weeks later, my son got a stomach ache. He got loose motions too and a very unsettling feeling. He was really upset since he couldn’t play or do anything else. His energy was drained. We kept trying to figure out what could have caused it but were not sure. He had eaten some fruits cut from before and also had a milkshake outside. We didn’t know which of the two caused it. Rest of the diet was usual. We took him to the doctor who recommended a few quick tests to understand the seriousness of the infection. My son had to get a urine test. It was my 5 year old son’s first attempt to give a urine sample. He was fascinated by the jar to deposit urine. I told him you have to pee in this and bring it back. He insisted that I will go alone and do it. I waited patiently and he was out in a few minutes with the empty jar. I asked – “What happened?” And he said “Well there was no need to pee in this as I found the pot in the bathroom.” I sighed and calmly explained what needed to be done. We gave him plenty of water to drink and waited for about 30 minutes for the next time he had to pee. We successfully got the sample and all tests were fine. But we now knew to be more careful with stale veggies and cut fruits in summer time. It may also be good to avoid milk based products from outside.
Now, as a practice, we keep these few precautions in mind – carry water and drink it throughout the day, are careful on what we eat outside, don’t eat stale or raw cut food from before even at home. Also, given the amount of dirt and dust during hot summer days, we also encourage our son to wash his hands as many times as possible to avoid contamination. Let your child enjoy playtime in summers carefree. The tans will fade eventually but the memories will last forever.
This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids) sponsored by Dettol.