The hot weather and intense UV rays of the summer are here, and while this is a fun time of the year for many families, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of hot weather safety for kids. Both infants and children sweat less than adults, which reduces their ability to cool down, making hot weather can be especially dangerous for them. In addition, babies and children generate more heat during physical activity than adults, putting them at a higher risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. As a result of these factors, children should be watched carefully during the summer. To help you and your family have a safe and healthy summer, we’re sharing our top tips related to hot weather safety:
Hydrate hydrate hydrate
Dehydration is most prevalent in the summer months. Children and infants are at an even higher risk of becoming dehydrated because it’s more difficult for them to communicate when they’re thirsty. To fight off dehydration and illnesses caused by dehydration, always have cool, fresh water on hand, and remind your children to drink it throughout the day. Water should be your child’s primary source of hydration throughout the day.
Select proper clothing
Dressing your children in loose clothing that uses lightweight fabrics is one of the best ways to help keep them cool. Wide-brimmed hats can help provide added sun protection.
Don’t skip the SPF
Sunscreen is essential for hot weather safety. In addition to protecting your child from sunburns and sun poisoning, regular sunscreen use early on can reduce the risk of skin cancer later on in life.
Schedule extra rest time
Summer vacation is the perfect time for your children to get outside and get moving, but ensure your children are encouraged to take necessary periods of rest. Not only are a lot of kids more physically active in the summer, but time spent in the sun can also be exhausting. Plan your activities in the mornings or evenings, and encourage breaks to make sure your child is staying cool.
Don’t forget the sun accessories
As we previously mentioned, a sun hat can help offer additional protection against the sun, but that is just one of the many summer accessories that contribute to hot weather safety. Sunglasses offer valuable protection for the eyes, and swim shirts can help to block UV rays when playing at the beach or pool.
Keep an eye out for shady spots
When your child is out playing or spending time outdoors, scout out a shady spot for them to use during one of their breaks. Encouraging your child to spend time in the shade can help offer some sun protection in addition to a cooler environment.
Be mindful of their environment
As temperatures soar, it’s essential that your child has a cool, comfortable environment to protect them from the heat. Air conditioning, fans, and dark areas make for optimum sleeping and resting conditions. On extremely hot days, consider indoor activities like a trip to the library, movie theater, or mall.
Never leave your child in a car, even for a couple of minutes. On average, the temperature in a car is 43 degrees higher than the outside temperature, and most of this temperature increase occurs within the first five minutes. Enclosed strollers for infants should also be avoided, as any enclosure can restrict airflow and lead to dangerous temperatures.
Talk to a Pediatrician
The providers at Wake Forest Pediatrics strive to improve patient care by strengthening the patient-doctor relationship, providing open communication, and working as a team for a comprehensive approach to medical care. To talk to our team about hot weather safety for kids, call our Wake Forest office at 919-556-4779 or our Knightdale office at 919-266-5059 to make an appointment.