To commemorate World Sickle Cell Day, I wanted to share with you our top 5 Summer Sickle Cell Survivor Tips.
1. STAY HYDRATED!
Drink plenty of water! Here are a few quick tips to encourage a child to drink water throughout the day.
Set a concrete goal by designating a cool water bottle and telling the child to drink at least 4/day (or whichever number is recommended for your child’s age and weight). When the goal is met, give your child a simple reward, like a sticker or some other incentive.
Serve foods high in water content such as
- Watermelon (honey dew and cantaloupe melons are great too)
- Salad (lettuce, tomatoes, swiss chard)
- Coconut water
2. SWIM SAFE.
Check the water temperature. The pool water should be at least 80 degrees.
Read more about Sickle Cell and Pool Safety.
3. REST WHEN NEEDED.
Don’t over do it. Encourage your child to get adequate sleep at night, which means even during the summer months a reasonable bedtime should be set. If your child’s body is telling him or her to rest. Let the child take a break and rest. If your child attends a camp or school program make sure the teacher and administrators are aware of your child’s need for rest. Do allow your child or anyone else to physically over-exert your child living with Sickle Cell.
4. STAY OUT OF THE HEAT
Avoid extreme temperatures, this includes very hot days. Football and basketball camps should be viewed with caution because much of the physical training is completed during the summer outside and some days may be too hot for a child living with Sickle Cell.
5. EAT HEALTHY
It is important for children with Sickle to have regular check ups. The summer is a great time for kids to have fun, but developing a healthy menu is important. The child should eat around the same time each day and follow the healthy plate food guidelines. Fruits and vegetables should consist of have of a person’s plate.
I also wanted to share a story about Donovan a Sickle Cell Survivor who is thriving at St. Jude.
“In observance of World Sickle Cell Day, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell disease programs in the country, is celebrating its research that is helping patients like Donovan lead longer, more productive lives. Learn more about this active little boy and his treatment at St. Jude. http://bit.ly/WSC-Day“
Support the St. Jude Sickle Cell Disease program
Donate to St. Jude online: Ways to Help
It is celebrated on June 19th across the globe, and was created by the United Nations by resolution.
According to the World Sickle Cell Day website:
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working to promote a world wide agenda to address hemoglobin dysfunctions.
WHO has made a commitment to:
- Recognize that sickle cell disease is a major health issue.
- Increase awareness of the world community regarding sickle cell disease.
- Eliminate harmful and wrong prejudices associated with sickle cell disease.
- Urges member countries where sickle cell disease is a public health problem to establish health programs at the national level and operate specialized centers for sickle cell disease and facilitate access to treatment.
- Promote satisfactory access to medical services to people affected with sickle cell disease.
- Provide technical support to all countries to prevent and manage sickle cell disease.
- Promote and help research to improve the lives of people affected with sickle cell disease. (Source)
Retrieved June 19, 2014 from StJude.org. http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=9f0b093033ef3410VgnVCM100000290115acRCRD&cpsextcurrchannel=1&sc_cid=smd9208.
Featured image credit: World Sickle Cell Day. Retrieved June 10, 2014 from http://www.caymanactive.com.