Infants and small children are among those at highest risk for heat-related illnesses.
There is no shortage of outdoor activities available in the summer. Time can slip right by.
But experts say it’s important to recognize that children and adults tolerate heat very differently.
Children are at higher risk for heat-related injuries because they have thin skin and they don’t manage the heat exchange well. They tend to lose more fluids through their skin and so they need extra fluids relative to what an adult does.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Infants and small children younger than four are among those at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.
For babies under six months, doctors suggest:
- Keeping them out of direct sun
- Have them hydrated prior to going out
- and drink every 20 to 30 minutes
For older kids:
Anticipate and plan ahead. They, too, need to drink before going out.
Take frequent breaks and re-hydrate.
And avoid sodas with caffeine.
And while water is usually sufficient, after about an hour water is not enough-utilizing a sports drink can be helpful for the extra electrolytes in it.
Parents should be able to recognize these symptoms of heat illness.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Or muscle spasms.
- All signs that medical attention may be needed for a child.