Cool Tips To Avoid Heat Illnesses This Summer
The summer sun can be so much fun and this summer in particular is going to be hot. Playing outside isn’t all fun and games if you want to stay safe though. It's extremely important to be aware of the heat and the environment when you get ready to participate in any outside sport or activity.
Watch For Fun, And The Dangers of Too Much Sun
Heat stroke isn’t the only summer struggle, you can also get cramps from the heat as well as heat exhaustion. Each of those heat illnesses are treated a little bit differently but the main focus is prevention.
Signs of Too Much Sun To Watch For Everyone
Below are things to watch for to determine if your child is struggling with heat related illness.
- Abnormal behavior
It’s time to get concerned and take action if a child:
- Stops sweating
- Has a fever
- Is very confused
Datasource: Dr. Fazekas summer heat tips
Know When To Cool and Where To Call
You’re going to want to cool your athlete down either with a cold water immersion bath or with ice packs on the back of the neck. Next, you’re going to want to seek medical attention by calling 911. Heat illness can have serious consequences and getting medical attention is crucial.
Safety First To Prevent Sun’s Worst
Ultimately, prevention is the best place to start to avoid an emergency in the first place.
Matthew Fazekas, MD, medical director of the Pediatric Sports Medicine program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has four tips for parents about preventing heat injuries in the summer sun.
Hydration. Make sure that plenty of fluids are readily available for your athlete. Water and sports drinks are great choices. Encourage your young athlete to drink before their activity, especially in the summer heat they need to be taking water breaks.
Acclimatization. Take it slow the first 10-14 days of hot weather so your athlete gets used to working in the heat. Take your time to avoid being overwhelmed by sky high temperatures.
Exercise at the right time. Changing work out and exercise time from the middle of the day to earlier in the morning or later in the evening can prevent you from being outside when it is the most hot and humid. This will limit your risk exposure to the elements.
Nutrition. Smaller carbohydrate meals more frequently are preferred. Ideally you want well balanced fruits, vegetables, dairy products, just like you do all year round but in smaller portions.
We encourage you to get out, enjoy yourselves, play safe, have fun, but keep these heat illness prevention tips in mind. With careful attention to hydration, acclimatization and nutrition, you can make this your best summer yet.