Summer is a time when families have the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors with each other. Unfortunately it’s also the hottest time of the year, so families need to prepare themselves for the extreme heat that comes with extreme summer fun.
- Clothe wisely: wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay cool indoors: if your home is not air conditioned, find a public space that is, such as a library or shopping mall.
- Tip: In a heat wave, heat-relief shelters may often open in many urban areas. For more information, contact your local health department for the locations of these shelters.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully: If you must be outside during a heat wave, try to do it early in the morning or late in the evening. Never engage in strenuous activity during peak heat hours, noon to 3 p.m.
- Tip: If you are working outside in extreme heat, be sure to monitor your body’s signals and take frequent breaks to rest in the shade or AC and drink water.
- Wear sunscreen: While sunburns are painful, they also prevent your body from effectively cooling down, putting you at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses.
- Tip: The best sunscreens are ones that contain “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” labels.
- Never leave children or pets in cars. Even with cracked windows, the temperature inside can rise to deadly levels within minutes. Always double check that everyone is out of the car before walking away.
- Tip: Place a stuffed animal in the front seat when a child is in the car. Whenever you remove a child from the car, move that stuffed animal to their seat, and when you return the child to their seat, move the stuffed animal back to the front seat as a visual reminder.
- Stay hydrated. This may seem obvious, but we often don’t feel thirsty, even when exposed to extreme heat. It’s important to keep drinking on a very regular basis, despite your thirst level.
- Tip: Alcohol, caffeinated and sugary drinks will quickly dehydrate you. If you’re looking for something other than water, try a sports drink to both hydrate and replenish your electrolytes.
For a more complete list of heat-safety tips, visit CDC.gov. To learn more about family health and parenting tips and advice, visit us at Any Baby Can and register for one of our affordable parenting classes, or give us a call at 512.454.3743.