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Dhaka     Tuesday   28 May 2024

Bangladeshi children at high risk of heatwave

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 17:03, 24 April 2024  
Bangladeshi children at high risk of heatwave

Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh, has said UNICEF remains deeply concerned about the health and safety of children across the country due to sweltering temperatures as an oppressive heatwave is persisting throughout the country.

Citing UNICEF’s 2021 Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), which identifies children in the country as being at “extremely high risk” of the impacts of climate change, the organization highlights the grave dangers posed by the unusual rise in temperatures.

Newborns, infants, and young children, considered among the most vulnerable populations to heat-related illnesses, face increased risks of heat stroke and dehydration-induced diarrhea.

In response to the Primary and Mass Education Ministry’s decision to close all government primary schools until April 27 due to rising temperatures, UNICEF urges parents to exercise extra vigilance in ensuring their children remain hydrated and safe.

The severity of the ongoing heatwave underscores the urgent need for action to shield children from the worsening impacts of climate change.

With temperatures reaching unprecedented levels, prioritizing the well-being of children and vulnerable populations is paramount.

UNICEF outlines crucial steps for frontline workers, parents, families, caregivers, and local authorities to protect children and pregnant women during this heatwave:

Prevention: Create cooler spaces for children to sit or play indoors. Minimize outdoor activities during hot midday and afternoon hours. Ensure children wear light, breathable clothing and stay hydrated throughout the day.

First aid: Recognize symptoms of heat stress, such as dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, fever, nosebleeds, muscle cramps, or heat rashes. Provide immediate care by moving the individual to a cool, shaded area with good ventilation, applying wet towels or cool water to the body, and administering water or Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS). Severe symptoms necessitate urgent hospitalization.

Community support: Check on vulnerable neighbors, including families, children with disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly, who face heightened risks during heatwaves. Extend support and assistance to those in need, especially those living alone.

Sheikh Reza Parvez/AI