Is it safe to play holi during pregnancy? This is a debatable question often asked to doctors by pregnant women. As we prepare to celebrate another round of Holi, this question is again on the minds of several expecting mothers.
Ahead of Holi, doctors at Paras Bliss Hospital, Panchkula say while you need not stay away from celebrations completely, caution is very necessary. At the same time, caution is also advocated to safeguard infants and children from the possible harmful effects of Holi colors that can cause skin rashes, irritation of the eyes and even more serious allergies of the respiratory tract.
“During pregnancy due to hormonal influence, all joints and ligaments are relaxed, immunity is very low and skin is very sensitive. It is a very delicate situation and this is why a series of potentially strenuous activities are best avoided. Vigorous activities and harmful colours may cause injury to body leading to premature labour, miscarriage or birth defects.
On the other hand, chemical colours contain harmful substances like lead, mercury, copper sulphate etc which can be absorbed by the skin and respiratory system, and cause serious repercussions. The so-called natural colours available in the market also contain zinc, lead, mercury. So if you want to indulge, you should use only homemade holi colours like henna, spinach, beetroot or can play with flower petals like rose, marigold etc,” says Dr. Monica Agarwal, Consultant Obs & Gynae, Paras Bliss hospital, Panchkula.
Apart from pregnant women, infants and young children also need to protected against artificial Holi colors. Every year after Holi, a number of complaints of allergic reactions are reported from children, some of whom are potentially serious. The complaints of allergic reactions range from skin rashes, burning in the eyes, irritation in the scalp to more serious respiratory allergies resulting from inhaling minutes color particles.
“Invariably, children are the most badly affected, given their sensitive skin and respiratory systems. At the root of the problem is the use of chemical-laden colors. The risk with synthetic and industrial dyes sometimes mixed with engine oils is irritation or allergies to the skin, hair, nails. Children’s skin is very delicate and susceptible to any allergy; even the slightest chemicals can do much damage,” says Dr. Monica Agarwal, Consultant Obs & Gynae, Paras Bliss hospital, Panchkula.
Holi colors frequently consist of a range of synthetic dyes which have harmful effects on the skin. The colors also contain high toxic chemicals which come in contact with our skin and enter inside our body through pores. Eczema is one of the most common skin complications that can occur because of the skin’s reaction to these artificial colors. If an infant somehow inhales the small particles in the colors, it can cause very serious respiratory reactions including difficulty breathing.
“Newborns cannot really join in festivities as the excitement is too much for them to take in. It is best to keep baby indoors and take it out only if it is awake and well fed for a short while only. Colours should not be applied on baby’s delicate skin. Apply a role or sandalwood tikka on forehead. Baby may also get scared, overwhelmed by noises and rowdy play or by seeing colour on parent’s faces. It is best that babies not participate and have a familiar face with it who also doesn’t participate like a parent or grandparent,” says Dr. Monica Agarwal, Consultant Obs & Gynae, Paras Bliss hospital, Panchkula.
Precautions for expecting mothers:
Precautions for infants: