Who doesn’t love a beautiful summer day when it’s the perfect weather to be outside with the kids, doing their favorite things, and just being kids?
Hot summer days and excessive activity can lead to heat stroke or dehydration.
But when the temperature and humidity levels start to climb up and up, as summer days tend to do, you need to be vigilant with making sure you do all you can to avoid heat illness (e.g., cramps, exhaustion, and stroke).
In pregnant women and young children, the outcome of too much sun exposure, high heat, and humidity can cause problems quickly. Here’s what you should know about heat illness:
Heat cramps are common in kids that have been playing hard in the high temperatures and haven’t stopped to re-hydrate. Our bodies’ lose water and salt as we sweat and, if not replenished, the low salt content will cause our muscles to cramp.
While not serious, heat cramps can be painful. Drinking fluids, resting in a cool place, and massaging the cramped area should give relief.
Heat exhaustion is a more severe heat illness that is most often seen when becoming dehydrated in hot temperatures. Some signs include fatigue, weakness, clammy skin, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, hyperventilation, and irritability. It is important that we don’t dismiss heat exhaustion as a grumpy child. If your child has been playing outside in the heat and shows these signs, it is much better to be safe than sorry! If left untreated, heat exhaustion may progress into heatstroke, which can be fatal.
Immediately bring your child out of the heat of the sun, remove his clothing, and give him something to eat or drink. (If he is not able to do so, IV fluids may be necessary, and you should contact your doctor.) You may even try giving him a cool (not cold) bath.