The warm summer months are a great time for having fun and relaxing outside. As temperatures climb higher and higher, it’s important to be mindful of the serious danger that heat can present–particularly for children. Friday, May 31 is Heat Awareness Day so we’re bringing you some tips to help keep kids safe in the sun and have fun this summer:
NEVER leave a child in a hot car
Since 1998, 800 children have died as a result of being left in a vehicle that was too hot. Caregivers should also be extra attentive when transporting children in the summer to prevent heatstroke. Even at cooler outdoor temperatures, the interior temperature of a car can be dangerous. After one hour in 80 degree weather, the inside of a car can reach up to 123 degrees which is too hot for anyone to be safe.
If you see a child alone in a hot car, call 911 immediately and do what you can to get them out ASAP if they are in distress.
There are many resources available to learn more about how to keep kids safe this summer. Learn more at SaferCar.gov, an initiative of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSN).
Keep your car cool while it’s parked
If you’re parking your car for an extended period of time, try these tricks to keep your car cooler in the summer heat:
- Find a shady area under a covered lot or tree to park your car.
- Use sunshades to block the sun’s rays from overheating your car.
- When safe, leave the window or sunroof open less than half an inch to allow some airflow.
Tips for playing outdoors
All children love to play outside, but the summer heat can lead to serious problems. Here are some tips for safely playing outside with your kids this summer:
- Play outside in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. Limit outdoor activities during the peak hours of sunlight (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
- Make sure children wear brand spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on both sunny and cloudy days to protect them from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after sweating or swimming.
- Make sure children are hydrated and drink water regularly to help cool their body’s internal temperature.
- Allow children to rest often so that their body can recover from activity.
- Be aware of hot metals or other materials at outdoor playgrounds that could burn your child.
Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, clammy skin that looks pale
- Weak or fast pulse
- Feeling tired or weak
- Muscle cramps
If your loved one is showing any of these signs, move them to a cool place and loosen any tight clothing. Have them sip water and cool their skin with a wet cloth. If symptoms last longer than one hour, get worse or they begin throwing up, seek medical help immediately.