How to prevent heat illness in kids

As weather temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illness and dehydration.
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND (WAVE) - As weather temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illness and dehydration.

Health experts with Cleveland Clinic Children’s said everyone, including children, can help beat the heat by hydrating the night before outdoor activities.

“If you start your tank at halfway, as the day goes on, you’re going to come down,” pediatrician Richard So, MD, said. “I want you to drink a bottle of water before you go to bed and another one before you start in the morning, so you start your day at a full tank. Then as you play, and you get dehydrated, you can actually just stay up in higher levels.”

The Cleveland Clinic says that high temperatures and humidity can cause heat illness and drain important body fluids children need to stay hydrated.

If a child appears agitated or fatigued while playing outside, they may be suffering symptoms of dehydration.

Experts suggest an overly ornery child playing outside on a hot day may need to take a break, find shade and drink water.

In addition to water, sports drinks or even an ice cream cone can help a child internally cool down, So said.

For kids experiencing heat cramps, electrolytes and salt are encouraged, in addition to water.

Signs of possible heat stroke include exhaustion and vomiting. This could mean a child is fluid deficient and heir body temperature is too hot.

“When you see a kid that’s in the heat and they’re vomiting, that’s a tell-tale sign that that kid is in trouble, where, number one, the first thing you need to do is cool that kid down,” So said.

So said ice, a garden hose or a pool are some ways to quickly cool a child’s body temperature.

If a child is having changes in consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.

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