LAHORE: With the first drop of the rain, children are out to take a bath in rainwater. “I literally detain my children in the room whenever it rains,” said Saima Shah of Gulberg, who doesn’t allow her children to be exposed to rain. She says she knows that rains fascinate the children, and her own childhood memories, both vivid and vague, have lots of such rain bath occasions. “Those times (30 years ago) were safer to have a rain bath, but not anymore,” she says, explaining the reasons for not allowing her children to enjoy the rain shower. She says her children – four-year-old Alia and eight-year-old Ali – contract skin infections whenever they are out in the rain. She says she cannot allow her children to be touched with acidic elements in rain. Acid rain is a byproduct of industrialization. Environmentalists say air pollution combines with water in the atmosphere and falls to the earth as acidic rain. Discussions and reports about acid rain often use the terms acid deposition or atmospheric deposition to describe the return of airborne pollutants to earth. Pollutants can be deposited from the atmosphere in rain wet deposition or without precipitation dry deposition. Air pollution like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause respiratory diseases, or can make these diseases worse. Respiratory diseases like asthma or chronic bronchitis make it hard for people to breathe. The pollution that causes acid rain can also create tiny particles. Doctors say that children are sensitive to acid rains. Also, choked gutters overflow in rains and sewage gets mixed in puddles on streets and roads. As children play and jump in the rain, the dirty water can cause them fever, ear infection and skin diseases. Pediatrician Dr Tahir says lots of children falling sick due their exposure to rainwater. He says in the monsoon, children can suffer from fever and throat and skin infection due to the dirty water. He said the public should be made aware about the effects of rainwater. Even though, the rainwater is very soft, and good for hair, but pollution has snatched this great blessing from the people. The rainy season also brings malaria, cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, colitis and hepatitis A. and again children are vulnerable to these diseases. Dr Tahir recommended the parents that they should not allow their children to be exposed to rainwater.