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Health Minute: Kids and Heat Illness

HEALTH MINUTE: Kids and heat illness

Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 8:57 PM -

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," says Dr. James Fortenberry of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "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 children younger than four are among those at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

SEE ALSO: Warming world is expected to cause increasingly worse air quality for more than half the Earth's population

For babies under six months, doctors suggest: 

-Keeping them out of direct sun - Have them hydrated prior to going out - Drink every 20-30 minutes. 

For older kids: - Anticipate and plan ahead. they, too, need to drink before going out. - Take frequent breaks to rehydrate - Avoid sodas with caffeine. 

"After about an hour, water is not enough-utilizing a sports drink can be helpful for the extra electrolytes in it," adds Dr. Fortenberry. 

Parents should be able to recognize these symptoms of heat illness, such as faintness, extreme tiredness, nausea, fever or muscle spasms -- all signs that medical attention may be needed for a child. 

BELOW: Get useful tips on how to lessen weather's impact on your pet.

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