Heat exhaustion is the dangerous result of spending too many hours in high temperatures, especially if the weather is humid or if your child is playing sports or taking part in a physically-demanding activity. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, a medical emergency. The best way to deal with both of these conditions is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are a few tips from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Safety Tips
- Drink plenty of fluids. Encourage your kids to drink at regular intervals, even if they say that they are not thirsty, to avoid them from becoming dehydrated. Avoid sugary drinks, as these can cause losses in body fluids, and icy cold drinks, which can lead to stomach cramps.
- Stay cool. If your kids have no reason to be out in the sun, bring them indoors to where there is air-conditioning or give them a cold shower or bath. Cooling off, even for a short time, can help kids cope better with heat. Remember, when temperatures exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, electric fans are insufficient for keeping heat-related illnesses at bay.
- Supervise your kids closely. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, which include profuse sweating and an increased heart rate, and for heat stroke — dizziness, nausea, confusion, and staggering. Pay particular attention to infants and young children, as they are the most susceptible to these illnesses.
- Wear the right clothes. Make sure that your kids only wear lightweight, loose clothing in light colors, and they always wear a hat when out in the sun.
- Take frequent breaks. If your kids are exercising, ensure that they rest often in a shady spot.
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