Ramadan is right around the corner and Seattle Children’s would like to share some considerations to keep in mind for your Muslim patients and families.

Ramadan this year will begin on Tuesday, May 15, and will last for 30 days. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a time of fasting, special prayer, worship and contemplation. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and a major part of Ramadan. Muslims abstain from food, fluids and smoking from sunrise to sundown during this holy month.

There are physiological changes that occur during Ramadan due to fasting and it is important to keep this in mind while caring for Muslim patients and families. If you are a provider, please consider discussing medication and meal management with your patients who plan to fast. A plan to manage dehydration and headaches is beneficial. It is widely believed within the Islamic faith that fasting should only be attempted by those who are mentally and physically able to do so.

Exemptions are made for pregnant women, nursing mothers, those traveling long distances and any individuals whose mental or physical condition could be adversely affected due to dehydration or lack of medication.

When it comes to scheduling, please keep in mind that there may be some parents fasting who will need to break the fast at sunset.

Thank you, and Happy Ramadan to those observing this year!