How to keep your kids safe in extreme heat
Monday, June 19, 2017, 3:00 - 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.
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Babies under six months
Health officials recommend keeping infants and toddlers out of direct sun, keeping them hydrated prior to going out, and rehydrating them every 20-30 minutes.
Parents and guardians are advised to plan ahead. It's important for children to drink water before going out, and to take frequent breaks to rehydrate. Sodas with caffeine should be avoided.
"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 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.
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