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What to do to beat the heat

POSTED: July 2, 2012 9:25 p.m.

With temperatures already having broken triple digits, and more hot weather expected soon, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta advises the following precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses:

• Drink plenty of fluids during vigorous or outdoor activities (including sunbathing), especially on hot days. Drinks of choice include water and sports drinks; avoid alcohol and fluids with caffeine such as tea, coffee and cola, as these can lead to dehydration.
• Dress your child in light-colored, lightweight, tightly-woven, loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
• Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day. Take rest periods in shady or cool areas.
• Protect children from the sun by having them wear a hat and sunglasses and by using an umbrella. Use a sunscreen that is at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15.
• Increase time spent outdoors gradually to get your child’s body used to the heat.
• Teach children to take frequent drink breaks and “wet down” or mist themselves with a spray bottle to avoid becoming overheated.
• Try to spend as much time indoors as possible on very hot and humid days.
• Do not leave children unattended in a hot automobile.
• Teach children to warm up and cool down before and after exercising.
• If your child has a medical condition or is taking medication, consult your child’s physician for further advice for preventing heat-related illnesses.

Some signs of heat-related illness are:
• Cramps
• Very high body temperature
• Red, hot, dry skin (athlete is not sweating) or heavy sweating
• Rapid pulse
• Throbbing headache
• Dizziness
• Nausea/vomiting
• Confusion
• Loss of consciousness


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