Health and SafetyOutdoorsPediatrics
Micah J. Ryan, M.D.
June 2, 2023
It is important to make sure children are hydrated when outside in warm weather. Watch the video below to learn how to recognize when a child is overheated or experiencing heat illness as well as some heat safety tips.
There are absolutely times when it is too hot to allow our kids to play outside. Generally, a heat index of 90 or greater is a good cutoff for this.
It is very important to make sure our kids are drinking plenty of water this summer while in the heat. It does not take much time, in the heat, to actually sweat off a good amount of water out of our body. Generally, we want to avoid juice and sports drinks as forms of rehydration. Water is the best in these situations.
It can be very difficult to determine if a young infant or a non-verbal child is getting overheated. There are some very subtle signs to look for though. First of all, excessive sweating, are they fatigued, are they have a disinterest in feeding and eating and last but not least are they looking flushed?
There are many signs that our children are experiencing heat illness. This can include poor urine output, feeling fatigued, having headaches, having muscle cramping and having nausea and vomiting.
If you feel that your child is experiencing heat illness, it is very important to first of all get them out of the heat, get any unneeded articles of clothing off their body. This is also a circumstance where it's actually a good thing to give them some cold sports drinks. Get a cold washcloth, put it behind their head, under the armpits, in their groin area, and if you need to even get them in a cool bath.
Some heat safety tips for this summer – First of all, keep them very hydrated. Avoid the heat of the day. This is 10 am to 4 pm in the afternoon. Have them wear lightweight clothing. Give them time in the shade. Take breaks as needed. And, last but not least, have some fun cool-off activities such as playing in a sprinkler or going to the pool.
I've covered quite a few topics here. There is so much we can say concerning summer and heat safety. For more summer safety tips, visit our website for in-depth articles and videos and parent Q&As.
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