How to Keep Children Safe in Heatwave

KonectHealth Team
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When hot gets too hot: keeping children safe in the heat

Never leave a child in a car in the heat: Children’s bodies can heat up incredibly quickly — leading to damage to organs and even death.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is what can happen to the body when it gets overheated, especially if there is dehydration as well. 

Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

Muscle cramping
Excessive sweating
Cold, clammy skin
Dizziness or weakness
Fast pulse

If your child has any of these, get them out of the sun, have them lie down, cool them off with cool water, and get them to drink (nothing with caffeine), making sure they take little sips at a time. If they still complain of dizziness or keep vomiting, bring them to an emergency room.

Heat stroke is an emergency: know the signs and know what to do

You should suspect heat stroke if the child’s skin is hot and dry rather than cold and sweaty, if their temperature is very high, or if they are excessively sleepy — or unconscious. If this happens, call 108 and get the child to a cool place and cool them down with cool water. If they are sleepy, don’t try to get them to drink as they may not be able to do so safely.

Here are some general tips to keep children safe in the heat

Limit time in direct sunlight (especially during midday hours). Use sunscreen. Look for shade, or make your own with umbrellas, tents, or wide-brimmed hats
Bring water along whenever you are going to be outside in the sun — for drinking as well as putting on the skin to cool down
Keep an eye on the forecast as you plan outdoor activities, especially active ones; check the temperature and the humidity, and plan accordingly
Take plenty of rest breaks and use them as a chance to check to see how everyone is doing with the heat. Every child is different; some may be fine when others are getting into trouble.