Monsoon refers to a periodic wind that lasts for several months. It is primarily associated with South Asia and the Indian Ocean and is characterized by consistent and heavy rainfall that marks the rainy season in the Indian subcontinent. Although similar to sea or land breezes, monsoon winds are much stronger in effect and cover a wider area.
The monsoon season brings a much-needed break from the scorching summer heat and forms the basis of livelihood for billions of people in the southeast Asian countries. However, it also brings air- and water-borne diseases along with it.
The term “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausem,” which means season. Technically, monsoon means the changing wind patterns that bring along rains (1).
In this post, we tell you the causes of the monsoon and a few interesting facts about the season. We also give you a few tips to keep your children healthy during the monsoon season.
What Causes Monsoon?
Monsoon is caused due to the difference in temperature between the land breezes and the ocean breezes. During the summer, the land gets extremely hot, and the air above the land becomes warmer than the air in the surrounding ocean. This creates a low-pressure area above the land. Meanwhile, as the surrounding ocean remains at a lower temperature than the land, the air above it retains a higher pressure.
Since the wind blows from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas, the cold and moist winds from the high-pressure areas on the ocean blow towards the low-pressure area above the land, causing rains between June and September in the Indian subcontinent (2).
Ways To Keep Kids Healthy During Monsoon
The monsoon season puts children’s health at risk since the air- and water-borne diseases increase. Here are a few practices to keep children healthy during the monsoon.
1. Give them home-cooked, healthy food
It is recommended that children consume a balanced and healthy diet. Keep them away from junk and unhealthy food and include seasonal fruits and vegetables in their meals. You could also include immunity-boosting foods such as honey, basil, ginger, and lemon to their diet and prevent them from eating street food.
2. Include physical activity
It is crucial for children to stay active by involving in different physical activities. You can have them enrolled for virtual yoga classes, dance classes, or workout sessions to make sure they stay active.
3. Say no to uncooked and cold food
During the monsoon season, one must only consume hot and cooked food to reduce the chances of contracting water-borne diseases.
4. Wear loose cotton clothes
Our clothing should always complement the season. During the humid and wet monsoon, stick to loose cotton clothing. Cotton is a breathable and comfortable fabric that does not cause skin irritation.
5. Maintain personal hygiene
It is vital for children to understand the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and keeping their surroundings clean. Make sure that you train children to wash their hands as it reduces the risk of diseases. Make them wash their hands before every meal and also after it. Inculcate this habit from the initial years.
6. Stay safe from mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are one of the carriers of diseases during monsoon. Therefore, remember to close the windows and doors in the evening and use mosquito nets or repellents to protect children from mosquitoes.
7. Switch to boiled water
To have better protection from water-borne diseases, switching to boiled water is a wise decision. Make sure your children drink only boiled water during this season
Monsoon Facts For Kids
- Monsoon contributes to 80% to 90% of annual rainfall in the Indian subcontinent.
- If the monsoon-dependent areas do not receive rains, it can lead to drought and famine.
- Approximately 500,000 lightning strikes take place every monsoon.
- Only about 33% of the Indian crops grow on irrigated land, and the rest are dependent on the monsoon rain.
- The range of monsoon storms varies from small dust storms to violent and disastrous thunderstorms.
- The monsoon season officially starts on June 1 and ends on September 30 every year.
- In Europe, the monsoon is called the “Return of the Westerlies.”
- Arizona receives approximately 32% of its total yearly rainfall during the monsoon.
- The first official monsoon forecast in India was made in 1886.
- An estimated 68% of India is prone to drought in varying degrees.
- Various South Asian countries, West African countries, Australia, North American countries, and European countries depend upon monsoon rains for their livelihood.
Monsoon is the most awaited season in the Indian sub-continent as it brings relief from the scorching heat. Also, the agricultural sector largely depends on the monsoon in the Indian subcontinent. Teach your children about the causes of monsoon and how they can stay safe during the season via this post.