Beat the Heat!
Posted July 9, 2012on:
It’s been hot! Even those of us who love the heat and the sunny days of summer have been hot. Heat requires us to be extra attentive to our little ones to be sure that while they enjoy this beautiful weather, they are not getting too much sun and become overheated. Infants are at a higher risk than adults from heat reactions. Infants and children cannot regulate their body heat as well as adults. Young children are often lost in the moment of play, are in and out of cars and do not have the capacity to tell us when they are hot, thirsty or need a break.
We need to be vigilant when they are outdoors playing! Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school age children and teenagers should be hydrated at all times. It is common practice for adults to carry water bottles with them wherever they go. Children learn to do this at an early age as well – good! Fresh, clean water is always recommended as the ideal thirst quencher and the healthiest way to keep hydrated. Don’t forget fresh water for pets too!
Some common sense ways to beat the heat:
- Keep cool water available at all times. 55 – 60% of body weight is water. Water evaporates from the skin through sweat. Water needs to be replaced to maintain a healthy body. Kidsafe suggests a fluid intake of 8 to 12 cups per day. Cool water is preferred as it is absorbed more readily than warm, hot or ice water. Caffeinated beverages actually speed up the loss of body fluid. Remember that 100% fruit popsicles are a good treat full of fluid to refresh those little bodies! A good indicator that a baby has enough fluid is 6-8 wet diapers within a 24 hour period. Be sure little ones are using the potty.
- Stay in the shade and keep skin covered in light, loose clothing. Provide a wide-brimmed hat, or a ‘foreign legion’ style cap with flaps, to protect children’s face, neck and ears. Adults should wear hats too! Napping babies and little ones should always sleep in shade.
- Sunscreen should go on before anyone leaves the house.
- UPF 15-24 = Good Protection.
- UPF 24-39 = Very Good Protection.
- UPF 40-50 = Excellent Protection.
- UPF 50+ Highest rating products, and highly recommended for maximum protection.(Kidsafe) Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after water play or active play! Adult supervision is recommended for application.
- Solid foods and snacks can help keep children cool and hydrated; melons, tomatoes, celery, all fresh fruits and vegetables, well chilled salads, and juice pops are all good choices for hot days. Be careful of dairy, yogurt and or dairy products (i.e. mayonnaise, cream salad dressings and dips, soft cheese…) these spoil quickly. Keep a cooler or small ice snack bag in the car or your picnic bag.
Keep skin cool & wet with water play, swimming, splashing & sprays. Remember that standing water reflects sun rays so sunglasses are a good idea. Keep shoes nearby; sand, concrete and blacktop is hot! Metal is hot to the touch and can cause burns. House fans are a good way to keep cool under adult supervision.
Enjoy this hot weather while it is here, it will be snowing again before you know it!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director