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Help kids keep their cool

Photo: FluxFactory/iStockphoto

Heat illness can happen to anyone during the hot summer months, but kids are especially vulnerable, according to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. Kids generate more body heat than adults and typically spend many hours playing in the sun, often without adequate hydration.

To help protect kids against heat illness, the NAEMT recommends you:

  • Pack water for your kids to take to their activities.
  • Dress kids in loose, light-colored clothing and make sure they wear a hat. Always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors.
  • Teach kids to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Remind them to take periodic breaks out of the direct sun.

It’s also important to know the warning signs of dehydration:

  • Noticeable thirst or dry mouth
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Decreased performance
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, lightheadedness or dizziness

If someone has any of these symptoms, have them rest in a cool place and provide a sports drink with electrolytes. If the symptoms don’t go away, place wet or iced towels on the neck, wrist, armpits and groin, and have the person lie down with legs elevated. If their condition doesn’t improve, seek medical attention immediately.

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