Don't Let Children Get Beat by the Heat
You can always count on two things during summer in the South – heat and humidity. The third thing you can count on is that children love to play outside. Outdoor activities are a wonderful form of physical exercise, but parents should take a few precautions when heat and humidity hit peak levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents take these steps:
- The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
- At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.
- Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, five ounces of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 88 pounds, and nine ounces for an adolescent weighing 132 pounds, even if the child does not feel thirsty.
- Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated garments should be replaced by dry garments.
Source: Summer Safety Tips - Sun and Water Safety