Avoiding Heat Illness This Summer
By Donna Stark
During the majority of the year, schools across the nation become a home away from home for our children, but once summer hits, the great outdoors takes that spot. From the minute the sun rises to the moment that dusk sets in, it doesn't take very long at all to find kids who are outside playing. On one hand, that is a great thing to see, but on the other, it can be concerning if they aren't being careful about sun exposure. It's vital that you don't overlook heat illness prevention, especially when it comes to the well-being of your children.
Preventing Heat Illness
Summer is a time for day-long sports camps, Marco Polo, and vacations at the beach, and although they are all very different from each other, they all have one thing in common being outside in the heat. If the outside temperature is extreme, you need to take precautions to keep you and your family protected from heat illnesses, such as stroke, rashes, cramps, edema, and exhaustion. Here are some tips that may help.
- Prepare for outside - Pay attention to the weather forecasts and heat indexes. Be sure there are plenty of water bottles available in your car and wherever you go and that your child has enough if they are going to be apart from you. Consider wearing hats and definitely apply sunscreen!
- Make alternate plans - Just because it is summer doesn't mean you have to spend every last hour outside. Head to an indoor rock climbing facility, the mall, or do your shopping during the high peaks of heat in the day.
- Know the symptoms - Keep an eye out for heat illness symptoms like dizziness, fainting, confusion, weakness, pale skin, nausea, headache, rapid breathing, and extreme thirst. You know your kids the best, and if they appear a little off, take action! Move to some shade or an air-conditioned building or car. Offer them water and cool their body with wet rags.
- Stay hydrated - This is a no-brainer but is worth saying. Drink plenty of water to avoid the point of dehydration. It is also extremely beneficial to add more water-rich fruits and veggies to your diet, especially on days when you know you will be outside a lot!
Staying Safe This Summer
Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, but you need to take some precautions in order to keep everyone safe. The more you know about heat illnesses and their symptoms, the better you can protect yourself and your family. So go ahead and enjoy the next few months, but stay safe while doing so!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Newtown Square, Pa.