It is NOT Just the Humidity.
Anyone who has grown up in the south can safely testify to the overbearing heat index during the dog days of summer. It is not unusual for the temperature to be in the upper eighties by mid-morning and skyrocket to 100+ as the afternoon progresses. In August, most kids are headed back to school and are inside most of day away from any harmful rays.
However, the beginning of school heralds the start of extra-curricular activities many of which are outside: football, band and cheer leading, to name a few. In August and early September it important to remain diligent with your child to exercise some precautions while in training, to protect against overexposure to the heat and sun.
How Can You Protect Your Child from Heat Exhaustion and Sun Poisoning?
There are lot of precautions that may feel like common sense. However, the execution of certain safety practices is crucial to making sure your child is well protected while they are outside during the latter part of the afternoon. Even though it is cooler, sun exposure can still present a problem if children are out for more than two to three hours in uniforms.
Hydrate Before Going Outside
If your child is going to be part of a rigorous sport activity it is essential
to make sure they are hydrated first thing in the morning.
Encourage your child to drink a glass of water before breakfast, to opt for water when they are at lunch and to drink water throughout the day.
Hydration helps maintain your body's delicate chemical balance even during excruciating heat. Help your child understand that drinking soft drinks, coffee and other caffeine beverages will actually dehydrate them further and is not the same as hydrating. Hydration is the most important factor to encourage your child to be mindful of when they are at practice.
- Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
- Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before starting to exercise or during warm-up
- Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
- Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
When your child is working out in the heat of the day they are going to sweat. During heavy perspiration sunscreen does not stay on very long. Your child will need to layer sunscreen once every hour to accommodate for perspiration. Even if it is just on the neck and face, this will not only stop a sunburn but also keeps your child safe from getting sun poisoning. It is always best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.
Apply Sunscreen Multiple Times
Know the signs, overheating can happen unexpectedly so preparation is key. Even with safety precautions in place your child can experience sun poisoning or heat exhaustion.
Make sure all adults and students recognize the signs of someone suffering from either of these conditions.
Also, encourage your child to confidently speak up and step out if they are feeling ill due to heat. There is a lot of pressure on performance in extra-circular activities but your child's safety should always come first.
Severe sunburn or sun poisoning can cause symptoms such as the following: Skin Redness and Blistering; Pain and Tingling; Swelling, Headache, Fever and Chills; Nausea, Dizziness, Dehydration.
The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include: Dark-Colored Urine
(a sign of dehydration), Confusion, Dizziness, Fainting, Fatigue, Headache, Muscle or Abdominal Cramps;Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea.
Being involved in extra-curricular activities brings a number of great benefits to students and families overall. But with the heat of summer still around as students venture back to school, taking precautions can assure your child performs well and enjoys their programs. It is important also to remember that these great tips are not just for children. Often coaches, parents and grandparents are at the field cheering students on. Make sure the adults are taking precautions too.
As your family prepares for the upcoming school and sports season now is a good time to visit Morrow Family Medicine. Our caring team can help with sports' physicals and immunizations as well as minor injuries that can occur due to training. Contact us at:
or call us at: 770-781-8004.
We are committed to your health and well-being. We utilize state of the art technology and old fashioned attitudes to care for all our patients.
To learn more about us visit Morrow Family Medicine's LinkedIn page. Morrow Family is the proud recipient of the Best of Forsyth award for 2015 and 2016.
Morrow Family Medicine is now available to see you at two locations:
1400 Northside Forsyth Drive, Suite 200, Cumming, GA 30041
Milton - 12970 Highway 9, Milton, GA 30004