With temperatures rising into the 100s, it’s important to take precautions so your children avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion occurs when children experience heavy sweating, weakness, fainting, and vomiting. Heat strokes (or sun strokes) affect children when they are exposed to and absorb more heat than they can handle. Children experiencing a heat stroke may have high body temperatures, hot and dry skin, a rapid strong pulse, as well as unconsciousness. A child is at risk if their body has trouble regulating temperature or cannot escape the heat.

Those at greatest risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion:

  • Babies and young children because they sweat less than adults, absorb more heat, and may forget or not know how to drink plenty of fluids
  • Children with developmental disabilities or chronic illnesses
  • Children who cannot change positions independently
  • Children with fever, sunburn, or gastrointestinal upset
  • Children who are doing a lot of physical activity
  • Children on certain drugs, such as antihistamines

Simple steps to ensure your children stay safe despite increasing temperatures:

  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down. The temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets, and even adults.
  • Take a break by reducing, eliminating, or rescheduling strenuous activities until a cooler time
  • Keep your child hydrated by encouraging them to drink water.
  • Dress your child in lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat, sunlight, and allow airflow.
  • Keep your child out of direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Fun ways to beat the heat during summer’s hottest days:

  • Take a trip to a pool or turn on the sprinkler. Star City Shores and other Lincoln public pools offer affordable rates for outdoor fun in a cool setting.
  • Visit the library. Lincoln Libraries provide great summer reading programs for children every year.
  • Get crafty. Have fun indoors while finger painting or coloring.
  • Act it out. Let your children to dress up while acting out their favorite story and letting their imagination unfold. Make sure to have your video camera in hand as the plot unfolds.
Kim Dierks

Kim Dierks

Health Expert

Kim Dierks is a Pediatric Nurse Manager with Bryan Health.

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