Most of the country is on track for a “hotter-than-average” summer, making it a great time to brush up on best practices for keeping your family safe in the heat.
Children are less able to regulate their body temperature, which makes them more susceptible to temperature extremes and the effects heat can have on the body compared to adults.
Follow these simple steps to help prevent heat-related emergencies in children:
- Keep children hydrated.
- Dress children in clothing that is single-layered, light-colored and lightweight.
- Have children rest in the shade whenever possible.
- Avoid physical activity or exercise when the weather is hot or humid.
Parents and caregivers should also be aware of the risk for heat-related illnesses or death when children (or pets) are left in vehicles. It only takes 10 minutes for a car temperature to become deadly. So, children should never be left alone in a vehicle even if it’s “just for a minute”.
If a child is showing signs of heat stroke (e.g. altered mental status, very warm skin, dizziness, seizures, fast breathing and pulse), contact 911 immediately. And take steps to aggressively cool the child.
Check out the HSI Emergency Care blog for more information about heat-related emergencies in children and detailed steps for responding to heat stroke.