Taking care of our children during the Carnival season

ORANJESTAD – Every year the Department of Public Health gives some tips to care for children during the carnival period.

In cases of lots of sunlight, hot weather, loud music and long hours of Carnival, one must always take into consideration the wellbeing and health of our children. For this reason every year the Department of Public Health gives advice to the parents and all the people responsible for children on this topic.

Some useful tips:

  1. Start planning two days in advance what you will take with you to the carnival activity and start preparing the snacks the night before.
  2. Give the children breakfast before leaving the house, like fruit, cornflakes with milk, peanut butter or jelly sandwiches. 
  3. Use sunblock (minimum SPF35 with UVA and UVB protection), 30 minutes before leaving the house. Do not forget to put sunscreen on your hands, legs, behind your neck and ears. These are sensitive parts to the sun that we often forget. It advisable for children to wear caps and sunglasses for extra sun against protection.
  4. Prepare food and your ice jug the morning before the parade. Use a separate jug to put drinks and a separate one to store food.
  5. Make snacks in individual portions in small bags or plastic storage containers.
  6. Take along healthy food and snacks, such as a sandwich with non-perishable cold cuts, such as peanut butter, jam, cheese or chocolate spread/sprinkles. 
  7.  As a snack, you can take with you cut fruits such as apples, mandarin, carrots, nuts or pretzels as a snack.
  8. Take with you wipes or hand sanitizers, to clean the child’s hands before eating or after using the toilet.
  9. Let the child drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration. Be advised that juice or sodas do not hydrate because of its high sugar content.
  10. Preferably, look for a cool place with enough shade where the child can stand and rest, of course, behind a barricade.
  11. Preferably, do not take children under 5 years old to the activities. You may leave them with relatives or at a secure place.
  12. Transportation also plays a major role in the safety and health of children. Always use a designated driver and make sure the child uses a car seat and safety belts.
  13. It is important to speak with children before going to any carnival activity, regarding their safety. Tell them to not accept food, candy or drinks from strangers. In case they cannot find their parents or relatives, tell them to look for a police officer in uniform for assistance. It is important for the child to carry identification with a number to call. The child can carry it the identification on a piece of paper in the pockets of pants, on a bracelet.

Carnival Children’s parade

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