The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Parents who wish their children to fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan should first consult their paediatricians.
Dr Ramsey Mustafa Al Omari said this is the best advice he could give way before the observance of the 30-day fasting, one of the pillars of Islam, and which may start either May 6 or 7.
The Canadian Specialist Hospital paediatrician/neonatologist told Gulf Today: “It is always a good idea to consult the paediatrician first especially for the first timers. This is helpful for both the parents and the children (since the general health of their children must be known).”
Al Omari had noted that according to Islamic scholars, fasting among children should be encouraged “when they reach puberty.” He also noted that as it has been customary, some children fast earlier “after observing their parents, siblings and other relatives.”
Several years back, a mother said she had her children start at age seven so that they imbibe the ritual. On Saturday, a father said his 15-year-old son began fasting when he was seven years old “because this is what we do in our community.”
Al Omari said: “I encourage that parents consult their paediatricians first so that they know what to expect from children fasting, the signs to watch out so that they are prepared to deal with these. There are cases when children should not fast.”
For this, he cited the eating disorders of anorexia (the medical condition of the lack or loss of appetite for food) and bulimia (considered a mental illness whereby the person uncontrollably consumes huge amounts of food and consequently vomits this out intentionally).
Al Omari continued: “Children with psychological problems like depression or anxiety, chronic illnesses and conditions that require ongoing medications may not be able to fast.”
On the red flags as he had mentioned of situations that call for children to take medicines, Al Omari said: “First of all, children who wish to fast for Ramadan should be medically fit and in a condition where fasting would not compromise their health or interfere with any medical treatment.”
It is the paediatrician who could give the best advice should children on medications cease to take these.
For the first-timers, Al Omari said it is best that these children take one step at a time in such a way that “they fast for shorter periods in the beginning, that is half day or a few hours until they become comfortable fasting (until sundown).”
The Dubai Holy Quran Radio of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) unveiled its new line of programmes for the holy month of Ramadan under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Union Coop, the largest consumer cooperative in the UAE, has announced, for consumers, the 60-day Ramadan package of Dhs110 million allocated for price reductions of around 25,000 products on VAT free prices. The chain of hypermarket is also expecting Dhs650 million worth of sales during Ramadan campaigns to benefit 2.5 million beneficiaries with up to 90 per cent discount on most of the edible items.
In celebration of the Year of Tolerance, Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar Dubai has announced that the Dubai Sikh Temple will be welcoming Muslim brethren to its dining hall for Mughrib prayers and Iftar during the entire month of Ramadan this year.
Philippine Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes on Sunday evening thanked the UAE government and other UAE homegrown organisations for making the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence momentous and memorable.
Following the roaring success of the International Day of Yoga during the past four years, the Consulate General of India in Dubai and various Indian community organisations have geared up to repeat the success for the fifth consecutive year.
The Court of Appeal in Fujairah has looked into the murder case of an Asian worker by his colleague in a labour accommodation in the emirate. According to the police records, the defendant who was a flatmate of the victim, was consuming alcohol excessively with five others on the day of the incident. The defendant and the victim entered into a heated discussion. The accused assaulted the victim and stabbed him with a knife in the abdomen. The suspect was subsequently arrested by the police after an attempt to rescue the victim.