Holi Tips for Your Little One!

Health In Focus
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Highlights:
  • Holi festivities are observed across the country. It is a day of fun and caper.
  • Take some precautions for babies and children on this day.
  • Follow some tips and keep your kid safe on Holi.
Children enjoy frolicking around. And Holi, the Indian carnival of colors, is the perfect excuse for young kids to skip around in joy.
Holi Tips for Your Little One!

But are the festivities of Holi safe for your child?

Young babies and children tend to have very delicate skin. Colors that might not affect the adult skin, could easily break out in reaction when coming in contact with the sensitive complexion of the little ones.

In fact, letting your baby have contact with Holi colors if he or she is less than six months old, is not recommended by pediatricians. For slightly older kids, remember that synthetic colors have a harsh chemical base, and it is best to avoid them altogether, rather than regret later.

Tips to make Holi safe for your child:
  • Try to use homemade herbal colors. The colors used in Holi, be it paste or powder, are made of toxic industrial dyes and chemicals, and oxidized metals, most of which can have harmful effects on your child.
  • Young children have a tendency of putting things in their mouths. Be very careful that in a moment of inattention, your kid does not thrust his hand into a bowlful of colors and stick it into his mouth!
  • Ensure that the color does not enter your child's eyes, as that can cause temporary blindness, eye irritation and allergies. If your child has long hair, take care to tie it well so that the color does not drip into the eyes from the hair.
  • Holi is a day of fun and caper. Be alert that your kid does not fall down and hurt himself while prancing around.
  • Apply moisturizer, oil or petroleum jelly on your child's exposed body parts, and oil to the child's hair. This waythe colors should come off easily during the post-Holi wash.
  • Keep bhang and any other alcoholic drinks out of reach of your child. You do NOT want your kid to consume intoxicants, let alone your baby.
  • Do not feed your toddler or baby Holi sweets that can cause indigestion and stomach ache.
  • For babies, take extra care to ensure colors are not swallowed. If you are still breastfeeding, remember to wash yourself well after Holi, so that your baby does not ingest color during feeding.
  • Older children can have unbridled energy. Ensure that your small child or baby is not hurt, or doused in water by older kids.
  • Give your child a thorough wash post the festivities. Try to wash the colors off before they become dry, and harder to peel off.
Below is a list of colors that are especially harmful:
  • Red can cause skin cancer, impair vision.
  • Blue can cause skin irritation, allergies, dermatitis.
  • Black can cause renal failure.
  • Green can cause eye allergies, temporary blindness.
  • Purple can cause bronchial asthma.
  • Silver can cause cancer.
Beware of 'organic' or 'natural' colors. While such colors claim to be made naturally from vegetable dyes, their powder base may still be composed of chemicals. Make your colors at home using flowers, henna, turmeric, and make Holi safer for your kid. If you are using synthetic colors, it is best to stick to pink which is less harmful.

Consult your physician if your child shows any of the following symptoms:
  • Weeps uncontrollably
  • Develops skin rashes and irritation
  • Has stomach ache, stomach upset
  • Complaints of eye irritation
  • Has a swollen mouth
  • Has irregular breathing
While the hues of colors can be fascinating, keep an eye on your kid. Try not to discipline your child too much, since kids can be defiant, and might end up doing exactly what you do not wish them to. Try instead to be gentle and alert, and do not let the little one run amok.

Be responsible towards your child, and all will be well. Have a happy and vibrant Holi!

References:
  1. Holi Safety Tips - (http://www.holifestival.org/holi-safety-tips.html)
Source: Medindia

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