The Cambodian National Council for Children yesterday appealed to parents to pay closer attention to protecting children from the effects of extremely hot weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
In a press release yesterday, CNCC said that children were at risk of dying from heat stroke or suffering from lung infections and other diseases.
It urged parents, teachers, authorities, organisations and other stakeholders to take steps to mitigate the effects of the hot and dry weather conditions and shelter children from extreme heat.
“The Cambodian National Council for Children expects all ministries, institutions, authorities and all stakeholders to cooperate with each other to address water shortages as well provide appropriate and timely services to assist children who are affected by the extreme conditions,” the statement said.
Nhep Sopheap, CNCC secretary-general, yesterday said that maintaining the welfare of children during this dry season is very important because the children, unlike adults, still do not have the strength to endure extreme heat.
“Adults are stronger and are able to take care of themselves but young children are weaker and prone to suffer from the ill effects of hot and dry weather conditions.” she said. “So in order to protect them, parents should ensure that children are well nourished and live in hygienic conditions.”
Chhay Mouykeang, a mother of two in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district, yesterday said she supports the appeal to protect children who are vulnerable during the hot weather season.
“When the weather is too hot or cold, my daughters feel unwell and sometime fall ill with fever, diarrhoea and become dehydrated,” she said. “So we as their guardians have to pay special attention to their health and ensure that they drink a lot of water.”
On March 15, the Health Ministry advised the public to take care of their health during the hot and dry season by drinking clean water regularly and avoid drinking too much alcohol or excessively sweet drinks which can lead to dehydration.
It said people should also supplement salt and minerals lost through sweating, wear light coloured and loose clothing, rest often in the shade while outdoors and avoid keeping children inside parked cars.
The ministry’s advice was made after the Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry recently announced that this year Cambodia will be indirectly affected by the El Nino phenomenon which will cause temperatures to rise to between 40 degrees and 42 degrees Celsius next month and in May.