Hydration Hydration Hydration!Posted: July 31, 2012
The local heat index has recently lingered around 110 degrees. Most kids are at the height of summertime activities and sports, which in extreme heat like this, can be dangerous.
Heat related illnesses are common during the summer months in Memphis. Multiple factors such as temperature, humidity, sun exposure, wind and clothing can affect the development of heat related illness. Often prolonged exposure to a hot environment, a recent illness with mild dehydration, certain medications and even caffeinated drinks can contribute to increased risk of heat related illness.
Young children and children with special needs are particularly susceptible to heat injuries because of several physiological factors:
- a decreased ability to sweat
- Infants and pre-verbal children (< 3-4 yr. old) cannot communicate their thirst and depend entirely on their adult caregivers for access to water
The best thing parents need to practice during extreme heat is common sense. Young children don't need to be out in the heat at all if possible. However, if they must, keep it brief. Try to avoid being outside during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Kids need to be hydrated, and parents should keep them drinking before they have a chance to get thirsty or begin to demonstrate signs of heat exhaustion. These include feeling weak and excessively tired, nausea, dizziness and/or headache. Staying inside and hydration are the best forms of prevention."