July 16, 2014
Summer is the season for heat. Though early summer can traditionally be a foggy season in Santa Barbara County, late summer days are more often fog-free and can get very warm. When young people are caught up in the excitement of playing games outside or even a leisurely bike ride around the neighborhood, they might not notice the temperature rising. But their bodies will notice the heat anyway.
Under normal conditions, the body’s natural control mechanisms — skin, vascular system, and perspiration — help the body adjust to the heat. But those systems could fail if exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods.
Here are some tips to help young people — or those just young at heart — beat the heat:
And parents should always be mindful of high heat inside a parked car when leaving a child there for any length of time, because those results 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, the body’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.