Summer Heat: How To Keep Children Safe And Healthy During Hot Summer Days
Summer is a great time for kids to get outside and enjoy the weather as engaging in outdoor activities offers a multitude of advantages, spanning from improved physical fitness and vitamin D absorption to enhanced mental well-being and heightened cognitive function. However, as the summer heat escalates, it becomes important for parents of young children to find a harmonious balance between outdoor pursuits and taking essential measures to safeguard their kids' well-being. Increasing temperatures bring about various health hazards, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, especially for infants and toddlers.
The importance of allowing children to freely run, play, and have fun is well known. However, it is equally important to remain mindful of potential hazards that may exist in their surroundings. Here are various strategies which can help you to keep your children safe and healthy during hot summer days.
Safeguard the skin
During the summer months, sunburn can be a significant concern, particularly for children who are more vulnerable. It is crucial to apply sunscreen to your child's skin whenever they go outdoors. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended that children use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to 50.
Don't forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Additionally, consider the use of sun protection clothing as an extra layer of defence.
Infants who are younger than six months should not use sunscreen. It is crucial to ensure that they are always shielded from direct sunlight. Dressing them in lightweight clothing, sun hats, and providing shade through the use of umbrellas will help ensure that even the youngest ones are protected from the sun.
Your child needs to maintain adequate hydration by regularly consuming water, which is essential for their well-being and illness prevention. Ensure they have easy access to a water bottle throughout the day. Moreover, incorporating beverages like coconut water or lemonade into their routine can assist in balancing electrolytes and enzymes.
Amidst the tempting allure of sodas, ice cream trucks, and cookouts, it's important to prioritise healthy eating habits for children during the summer break. By encouraging nutritious choices, you can help your little ones establish consistent and beneficial habits, ensuring they receive essential vitamins and nutrients to fuel their summer adventures.
Opting for cooler baths can be beneficial in reducing body temperature and alleviating discomfort caused by high temperatures. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to prioritise the child's well-being and promptly seek medical assistance if they exhibit symptoms such as headaches, diarrhoea, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, or fainting.
Avoid excessive outdoor activities
It is important for children of all ages to take regular breaks from playing outside, especially in hot weather. It is recommended that they retreat into the shade or, even better, into air-conditioning every 20 to 30 minutes.
Kids need time to relax, cool off, and hydrate before resuming their play. It is essential to maintain proper hydration even after they are done playing for the day.
It's natural to believe that you would never, under any circumstances, forget your child in a car on a scorching day. However, studies indicate that approximately 50% of hot-car fatalities occur when a caring caregiver unintentionally leaves a sleeping child in the backseat of their vehicle.
It is crucial to prioritise pool safety measures for families, ranging from installing drain covers and fenced enclosures to utilising life vests, enrolling in swimming lessons, and attending CPR classes.
When toddlers are near a pool or any water source, it is essential to ensure they are within arm's reach of a responsible adult at all times. Additionally, it is important to promptly empty and secure buckets, bathtubs, coolers, and wading pools after each use to minimise potential risks.
Protect against insects and address insect bites
Outdoor activities are not exclusive to your children! As the weather gets warmer, a multitude of creepy-crawlies emerge, increasing the chances of your little ones experiencing bug bites and bumps. Apply insect repellent and use bug spray!
Be cautious of stagnant water
Try to avoid stagnant water both inside and outside of your home. Ponds and fountains that are not in use can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
It is important to become familiar with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke in your children. Symptoms can include weariness, lightheadedness, a headache, a rapid heartbeat, flushed skin, nausea, and confusion. If your child exhibits any of these signs, promptly relocate them to a cool environment, provide fluids, and seek medical help if needed.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.