MOH News
A Pediatrician Warns against Dehydration in Children
18 July 2013
Dr. Rou’a  bint Nasser Al-Nasser, a specialist in pediatrics, affirmed that “healthy children can fast at the age of seven. Fasting at this stage depends on the child’s ability. At its early stages, fasting is preferred to be gradual by designating certain hours for fasting; in order for the child to get used to it without any complications or fatigue. As for sick kids, the ability of fasting depends on the child’s health status and the recommendations of their doctor.”  
Dr. Rou’a provided parents with some tips to help their children fast without any troubles – Allah willing, such as “motivating children to fast rather than ordering them, rewarding them at the early stages of fasting. Also, she recommended following a healthy nutritional diet that contains all elements of the food pyramid as well as drinking loads of liquids to avoid dehydration during fasting.” She went on to say, “It is preferred to give children snacks between 'Iftar' and 'Suhoor', stressing on the importance of the late Suhoor as fasting depends on it on the next day. Therefore, suhoor should contain an amount of calories sufficient for generating the energy to be needed by the child all day long. Moreover, she placed a particular emphasis on being cautious about dehydration symptoms, and hypoglycemia, which include fatigue, nausea, perspiration, inactivity, paleness or fainting- Allah forbid.”
Dr. Rou’a was asked about the symptoms of children malnutrition; a question upon which she emphasized that it usually starts with tension, behavioural changes, lack of appetite, and excessive sleeping; in case your child has any of those symptom, you should visit a doctor to be reassured.
She also stressed that “our kids are our responsibility; hence, their health should be taken as a top priority, as proper nutrition is the key of mental and physical activity.”
It is worth mentioning that Dr. Rou’a  bint Nasser Al-Nasser has provided these tips through the health awareness program carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH) through “Hello, Healthy Ramadan” program for the tenth consecutive year to help adults and kids fast healthily- Allah willing, via the toll free number: 8002494444 and the MOH account on Twitter: @saudimoh, to answer public’s inquiries.

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