June 5, 2013
Even though some of our summer days can be foggy, the temperature rises quickly as soon as the marine layer burns off.
When young people are caught up in the excitement of playing hoops on the driveway or even just taking a leisurely bike ride, they might not notice the temperature rising. But their bodies will react to the heat anyway, and parents need to pay attention.
Under normal conditions, the body’s natural control mechanisms — skin, vascular system, and perspiration — adjust to the heat. But those systems can fail if a child is exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods.
Here are some tips to help young people — or those just young at heart — beat the heat:
Parents should be particularly mindful of high heat inside a parked car. Leaving a child there for any length of time could prove fatal, even when outdoor temperatures seem relatively low.
It’s important for parents to know the symptoms of heat-related illness. If you don’t pay attention to the warning signs, your child’s natural cooling system could begin to fail, and that could lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke.
If a child starts to feel overheated, activity should stop immediately. The child should rest in a cool, shaded area and drink plenty of fluids. If heat cramps have started, massaging sore muscles may help alleviate some of the pain. These are all good ways to beat the heat so that summer stays enjoyable.