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Smarter Mom: Keeping Kids Safe In the Heat

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2011 at 12:00 AM
  • 61 Replies

After weeks of cold, wet, rainy weather here in the Midwest, summer has arrived with a vengeance. We sizzled through 90-degree temps on Memorial Day and there are more coming for the weekend.

It can be hard enough to deal with the heat yourself, but it poses special challenges for kids. Their bodies heat up at three to five times the rate ours do which puts them at greater risk for heat illnesses.

Heat illness ranges from heat cramps to heatstroke. Heat cramps are just what they sound like: pain in the legs, arms or abdomen which can happen during or after vigorous exercise in the heat (think a soccer game or an extended game of tag). Bring your child indoors or into the shade to cool off and make sure they drink plenty of fluids. My daughter's soccer teammates will empty their water bottles over their heads to cool off mid-game just like the pros, and gardener friends swear by a bandanna dipped in ice water around their necks.

Heat exhaustion is more dangerous. Kids can exhibit irritability, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, weakness and hyperventilation.The same advice for heat cramps applies for heat exhaustion, but you should also give them a bath in cool water (not cold, because the shivering set off from being dunked in cold water will just raise their temperature even more). It's likely they won't need a trip to the ER, but give your doctor a call just in case.

Heatstroke is a serious, life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical help. If they have flushed, hot, dry skin with no sweating, weakness, dizziness, or confusion, a severe headache, and a temperature of 105 or above, or if they lose consciousness, get them emergency help as quickly as possible.

Of course, you can avoid this by making sure your kids drink plenty of fluids (mine are never without a cup of water, milk, or a juice box within easy reach) and limit their outdoor play between noon and 6 pm. If you don't have air conditioning at home (we don't, and fans can only take you so far), a dip in a kiddie pool or even a run through the sprinkler can make you all a lot more comfortable; if neither of those are options, fill the sink with cold water and let them play. And there's always the library, the play area at the mall, or the movies to offer you air-conditioned comfort!

How do you beat the heat?

by on Jun. 2, 2011 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

We stay indoors...go to the mall...or places like chick fil a....park in the evenings when it is cooler or stay in the shade when possible...

its summer so we still gonna have some fun in the sun...

floating in poolice creamdancing party at home too lol


Come join me at Serious Coupon Swappers.

And also at The Park Bench!

by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

We stay inside where it's cooler, hit the beach up, and drink lots of water and eat lots of pops! =)

by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Open the house at night and close it up early in the morning.

by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM

My boys go in and out of the house to play outside in the backyard .....LOL I noticed that they don't like the heat and they keep coming in to "cool off"... But good article. That is definitely  great info!

by Carissa on Jun. 6, 2011 at 9:49 PM

We go to the pool, ,drink lots of fluids, come indoors and rest. We also go to places like the library and Barnes and Noble.

by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 10:28 PM

I always have cold WATER on hand and make them take sips throughout the day. I make sure there is shade and when they tell me they are done, that's it... we go inside. Once their energy dies down and they get sluggish I have them take a break from the heat.

by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 10:33 PM
We have the kiddie pool, slip and slide, and sprinklers. We also go to indoor play playhouses like Bounce House, the mall, chic fil a, etc
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by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 3:06 AM

We come back in side during the hottes times of the day, get in the pool, drink water, eat ice cream:)

by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 4:05 AM

swimming in the ocean!

by Michelle on Jun. 7, 2011 at 6:10 AM

We have been taking DS to places that have a water feature for the kids to play in. Even the zoo has a water feature ! :)

It really helps a lot.

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