BEAT THE HEAT
Now that summer has arrived, here are a few
helpful ways for you to help your children beat the
- Keep your house
cool-Leave windows with screens open all night
if possible to allow the cool evening breeze to
lower the temperature of your home. When the sun
rises, close all windows, curtains and shades. With
windows and doors closed, you can keep a fair amount
of the heat out and enjoy an environment ten to
fifteen degrees cooler.
- Always have lots of
beverages on hand. -Drinks containing caffeine should be
limited, as they will actually dehydrate your child.
- Let them sleep late, if at all possible. -Often when
nights are too warm to sleep, the most comfortable hours come in
the morning. A few extra hours of shut-eye on the other end of
the clock is a smart way to let them do some catching up on that
much required sleep. Not to mention you get a few extra hours of
- Monitor the use of fans. -When the temperature is 95
degrees or more, and the humidity sits at 50 percent, medical
experts say our sweat can't evaporate properly with a fan
nearby. Window fans and breeze boxes are most effective when
used in early morning and late evening.
- Get information about your child's medications. -Some
medications can increase the risk of heat stroke and unusual
side effects. Ask your child's pediatrician if their medication
has potential side effects or carries a warning against
excessive sun or heat.
- Keep your eye on them when they play. -Your kids may
run too hard, which can bring on heat exhaustion. If your child
begins to show signs of weakness, dizziness, profuse sweating or
nausea, immediately move the child to the coolest place you can
find, and give him or her plenty of fluids (preferably water).
If they show no signs of improvement, your child may be
suffering from heat stroke, in which case you should promptly
seek medical attention for them.
- Dress them in light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting
clothing. -Darker shades reflect the sun and hold in the
heat. Lightweight cotton and jersey are always favorites during
the summer months. Avoid bulky jeans, sweatshirts and overalls
that make up too many layers and do not allow the skin to
- Avoid afternoon heat. -Try to keep the kids somewhere
cool during the hottest part of the day. Usually between noon
and 4 p.m.
- Eat light. -Try to avoid serving your children hot,
heavy meals. Besides being too hot to cook, hot foods will only
increase body temperature, and heavy foods require the digestive
system works harder, using up body resources needed to handle
the heat. Try to eat foods high in water content such as fruits,
salads and soups. Avoid foods high in calories, since calories
are literally a measurement of heat energy.
- Give them cool baths and showers. -Because water
conducts heat away from the body, bathing your child in tepid
water is a great way to cool him or her down. Parents quick with
a sprinkler or hose in the back yard can offer a fun summertime
solution to the bathtub-shy.