As the summer starts to heat up and your children are spending more time outside, it’s important to help protect them from heat-related illnesses. Here’s top tips from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to help parents keep their kids safe during outdoor summertime play.
- Drink plenty of fluids during vigorous or outdoor activities (including sunbathing), especially on hot days. Drinks of choice include water and sports drinks; avoid alcohol and fluids with caffeine such as tea, coffee and cola, as these can lead to dehydration.
- Dress your child in light-colored, lightweight, tightly-woven, loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
- Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day. Take rest periods in shady or cool areas.
- Protect children from the sun by having them wear a hat and sunglasses and by using an umbrella. Use a sunscreen that is at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15.
- Increase time spent outdoors gradually to get your child’s body used to the heat.
- Teach children to take frequent drink breaks and “wet down” or mist themselves with a spray bottle to avoid becoming overheated.
- Try to spend as much time indoors as possible on very hot and humid days.
- Do not leave children unattended in a hot automobile.
- Teach children to warm-up and cool-down before and after exercising.
- If your child has a medical condition or is taking medication, consult your child’s physician for further advice for preventing heat-related illnesses.
Some Signs of Heat-Related Illness:
• Very high body temperature
• Red, hot, dry skin (athlete is not sweating) or heavy sweating
• Rapid pulse
• Throbbing headache
• Loss of consciousness
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is pleased to offer health and safety tips for parents and children. Children’s is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support from our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children’s is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. Visit our website at www.choa.org to learn more about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.