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Keeping Your Kids Safe from the Summer Heat

As Arizona parents, you are all too familiar with how high the temperatures can get during summer. It is important to pay attention to heat and sun protection to keep your children safe. Here are a few ways you can let your kids enjoy their time outdoors while protecting them from the danger of Arizona’s summer heat.

Choose the right clothing

When playing outdoors make sure your children are wearing the appropriate clothes. They should wear things that are loose fitting with light colors. Fabrics like cotton are best because they are breathable and allow for air to circulate over the skin. Hats and sunglasses should be used to shield the face and protect the eyes from the blazing summer rays.

Keep your children hydrated

Staying hydrated is the most critical aspect to keeping your children safe during the summer. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water, even when they aren’t thirsty. Make sure they have access to water and remind them to drink as often as possible, especially when running around. Avoid sugary beverages or anything with caffeine as these drinks can contribute to dehydration.

Instead of sports drinks, consider adding electrolytes to your child’s water. You can also consider giving your children hydrating foods throughout the day such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, romaine lettuce, tomato and citrus.

Be sun smart

Limit your children’s sun exposure during the peak heat of the day, which is typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Plan any outdoor play activities for the morning hours or early evening. Speak to your children about taking breaks during outdoor activities. Make sure they understand the importance of finding a shady spot to cool down periodically.

The most important thing to remember during the peak heat of the day is sunscreen. Ideally, you want a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen may need to be applied multiple times a day if your child is going to be outside for extended periods of time or swimming. A higher SPF doesn’t mean it’s a better sunscreen. Visit the Environmental Working Groups Sunscreen Guide for a list of safe and effective sunscreens for children.

Understand the signs of heat-related illness

Familiarize yourself and your children with signs of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, thirst, excessive sweating, nausea, and weakness. If your child shows any of these signs immediately move them to a cool area and give them water to drink. Loosen their clothing and apply a cool compress to the chest or back to help decrease their body temperature. If the symptoms persist or even worsen, get medical attention immediately.

As the temperatures continue to climb this time of year, protecting your kids from the dangers of the Arizona heat becomes even more important. Making sure your children are dressed properly, drinking enough fluids, using sunscreen and understanding the signs of heat-related illness, will help keep your kids safe this summer.

Kiera Smialek
Kiera Smialekhttps://www.naturalkiddoc.com
Dr. Kiera Smialek is a naturopathic pediatrician with Natural Kid Doc in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Smialek is a specialist in the field of naturopathic pediatrics and is the only practicing board certified naturopathic pediatrician in Arizona.



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