Summer is around the corner and temperatures are rising to extreme degrees in some areas of the Middle East. Cook Children’s Pediatricians provide expert guidelines on how to protect the children from the heat while still enabling them to play and have fun.
When the temperatures rise so much, especially with such high humidity, it is very important to know how to protect your children from getting ill. Exposure to the heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat strokes.
The first and most important tip is to keep your children hydrated. Because of the humidity, the body’s temperature will increase higher than normal and it will need more fluids to stay cool. Encourage your kids to drink water all the time and provide them additional refreshing drinks like coconut water or watermelon juice. Make sure your kids drink before they play, while they are playing, and after they are done. Babies that are under 6 months should not be drinking water; however, you must nurse them more than usual to keep them hydrated.
Be aware of how many times your child goes to the bathroom throughout the day – your child needs to relieve himself at least every six hours and the urine should be pale yellow.
Secondly, be wise with your child’s wardrobe. Dress your children with light colored and loose clothing. Light colors absorb less sunlight while the loose clothing allows the body to sweat and let off heat. Moreover, always apply sunscreen on your child’s skin during daytime.
Another tip is to cool off with water. Giving your child a cool bath after playtime is a great refreshing way of sustaining your child’s energy and health. Provided that, swimming is the best outdoor activity you can involve your children in during this season.
Additionally, plan your child’s outdoor activities early in the morning before the sun gets too hot. Always try to limit exposure to the sun during peak hours (11am – 3pm). Also consider the many air-conditioned indoor facilities where your children can play during hot hours.
More importantly, cars can get hot during summer days, so make sure you never leave your children or forget them in the car even for a couple of minutes. Children’s bodies heat up 3 to 5 times more quickly than adults’ does; and fatalities can occur even if the windows are down.
Finally, it is important to know some signs of heat exhaustion to know when you should cool them off. The signs include fast heart rate, vomiting, headaches, weakness, dizziness, fainting, cramps, clammy skin, drowsiness, and fatigue.
For more information about Cook Children’s Health Care System in English visit: www.cookchildrens.org