As much of the country gets ready to be hit by this weekend’s heatwave, parents should be especially concerned about keeping their little ones cool and safe. While triple-digit temps are uncomfortable for all of us, children are particularly susceptible to heat stroke, as their bodies heat up quicker than adults. Here are five easy ways to keep your kids safe when the temps are soaring.
Make sure they take breaks
Your heatwave plans probably include hitting up the local pool or sprinkler park, but even though there’s water to cool things down, watch your child for signs he or she is overheating. Kids are unlikely to tell you when they’re heating up too quickly, so it’s up to you to enforce those indoor or in the shade breaks.
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Keep them hydrated
Make sure your kids are drinking plenty of water in a heatwave, and also bring along a spray bottle to mist them down from time to time. You and your child need water to replace the fluids lost from sweating. Don’t risk dehydration — keep those reusable bottles filled (and add ice to keep drinks cooler, longer).
Dress to protect
While it’s normal to let them run around in a bathing suit or shorts and tank top, dressing your children in lightweight, breathable clothing will help prevent sunburn. Consider rash guards for both boys and girls and slather on a broad-spectrum SPF — remember to reapply every time he or she comes out of the water.
Limit outdoor play
Of course your kids to want to be outside, especially running through the sprinkler, limit that time to 30 minutes and find indoor activities like going to the mall or the movies on these super hot days. If you don’t have air-conditioning at home, hit up cooling centers or places like the local library.
Watch for signs of heat stroke
If your child’s skin gets hot and dry and he or she becomes dizzy, sleepy or confused, move him or her to a cooler place and apply cool wet cloths to the skin. When the core temperature spikes it can cause serious damage to the body’s organs so don’t be afraid to call for help if you need it.
With a little precaution (and plenty of ice pops!) you and your kiddos will get through the heatwave and even have some sweaty summer fun while you’re at it!