With the summer months approaching fast, the high temperatures they bring with them can be devastating to your children’s health. Thousands of children suffer from heat exhaustion each year, but there are steps that you can take to prevent it from happening to yours. Most children do not know when to take breaks and, therefore, do not tend to hydrate properly. Here are four steps to take with your children this summer in order to prevent heat exhaustion.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Most adults do not drink enough water and, as mentioned above, it is even more prevalent with children. They get so busy playing with their friends and having fun that they often will not hydrate until it is too late. To help with this, teach your children the need to constantly drink water or a sports drink throughout the day. They could possibly even take a water bottle with them wherever they go. A good rule of thumb is to take a water break every thirty minutes when the temperature is above 80 degrees.
This seems like a no-brainer but having a good working air conditioner is key to helping the body cool down. Children should never spend more than about 90 minutes outside in hot weather. They should take a break every 60-90 minutes in an air conditioned space. That is why it’s important to make sure that the one in your home is working properly. If not, don’t prolong getting it taken care of. Call an air conditioning repair technician prior to the summer to make sure it will be ready for when those temperatures rise.
Pay Attention to Heat Index
The heat index is a true indicator of how hot it feels outside. The ambient temperature is the actual temperature and can vary widely from the heat index. The heat index takes several factors into account including humidity to come up with a more accurate temperature. If the heat index is above 90 degree Fahrenheit, then children should stay inside.
When It Strikes
When heat exhaustion hits your child, then it is important to know what to do. If your children exhibits symptoms such as muscle cramps, dizziness, paleness, or a temperature over 104, then they could be victims of heat exhaustion. Immediately remove them from the heat and into an air-conditioned space or in the shade. Give them water or sports drink to sip on, remove any excess clothing, and place wet towels on their back and neck.
Heat exhaustion is nothing to play around with this summer. If you suspect that your child is a victim of heat exhaustion and the symptoms do not dissipate quickly after treatment, consult a doctor or take him/her to the closest emergency room.