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It’s mid-summer, children are getting restless and you just want to keep them active and entertained. For many moms, the usual go-to is sending the kids to the pool or outside to play. But with temperatures easily reaching 90 degrees every day, we must be more cautious of the activities and amount of time our children spend outside.
One of the most considerable dangers of being outside in high temperatures is dehydration and other heat related health issues caused by dehydration. Children are more prone to dehydration than adults, young athletes and active children in particular.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration in children include:
- Dry Mouth
- Feeling hot
If your child is experiencing any of these conditions, it is better to be safe than sorry. The best course of action is to get the child out of the heat and indoors to cool them down. Provide the child with a cool cloth and plenty of cool liquids, such as water or sports drinks. If your child is suffering from dehydration it is best to avoid sugary fruit juices and sodas of any kind.
If the signs of dehydration are ignored, it could lead to more serious health concerns such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can include profuse sweating, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, chills, weakness, cramps and vision problems. Heat strokes have similar symptoms, including high body temperature, seizures, disorientation, shortness of breath and unconsciousness. These types of heat-related health issues can be frequent in children involved in outdoor summer sports. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to seek medical help immediately.
With all the risks that high temperatures create, it is best to be aware of ways to keep the kids having fun all summer long.
4 Simple tips to keep your child safe and hydrated in the summer heat:
- Know the physical condition of the child. Being aware of your child’s physical ability can be an important indicator of how their bodies will react to high temperatures. If the child lacks physical fitness and isn’t used to high levels of activity, it is best to slowly acclimate the child to the heat. Start by limiting their time outside to only 30 minutes to an hour at a time.
- Schedule outdoor activities during cooler hours of the day. It’s hard to keep a restless child indoors all day, so when you do take your child outside it is best to know the weather conditions and plan accordingly by checking the heat index for the day. Mornings and late evenings are generally the better times of day to plan outdoor activities.
- Have your child wear proper clothing. This can keep them cooler longer in the high heat. If your child will be outdoors for a long period of time, have them wear light-colored clothing and ventilated shorts and t-shirts.
- Watch your child for signs of dehydration after long periods in the heat, especially for athletes. Ensure the child is taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty of fluids. Kids suffering from dehydration may look fine 15 minutes after giving them water and letting them cool off, so make sure to pay close attention to them throughout the day.
Don’t let high temperatures spoil the summer fun for your child, take the easy steps in keeping them healthy and active regardless of the heat!
OU Medical Center Edmond offers comprehensive emergency care at our two ER facilities – 2nd and Bryant and our new facility at 150th and Western. With an average wait time of less than 10 minutes, staff specifically trained in Emergency Medicine, and a direct connection to the Children’s Hospital, we welcome the opportunity to care for you and your loved ones.