Parents' guide to shield children from scorching heat outside

Experts advise six ways parents can help their children beat the heat this year

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How to keep children safe in extreme heat? — Children's Health

During the scorching summer of 2023, the United States witnessed a surge in heat-related emergency room visits, especially among individuals under 18 years old.

So, what can parents do to protect their their young ones when stepping out in the scorching temperatures?

Here's the advice that pediatrician Dr Tracy Zaslow and injury prevention coordinator Kelley Miller gave while speaking to Yahoo Life.

Hydrate, Hydrate, and Hydrate

Zaslow emphasised the importance of making sure children are "drinking throughout the day." 

If your children don't drink water, add fruit in their water for flavouring, offer foods with high water content (like watermelon and cucumbers) and encourage them to drink using a straw. 

Dress children appropriately

Loose clothes, lightweight fabrics and lighter colours are best for staying cool, according to Zaslow.

Try to spend time in water

Have your children take a cool shower or bath if they seem hot or there's no air conditioning, according to Miller.

Zaslow even encouraged families to visit the beach and get in the water instead of just being around it.

Practical tips every parent must know to protect their kids from extreme heat. — Centra Care

Avoid peak heat hours

Zaslow advised limiting outdoor activities to times when it's coolest, while Miller said it's best to play in the early morning or evening hours and avoid strenuous activity between the sun’s hottest hours of 10am to 4pm.

Avoid playground when it's hot

Zaslow said that many older playgrounds have asphalt surfaces, which can reflect heat and feel hotter than other areas.

Additionally, Miller said that surfaces of playground equipment absorb heat up to 189­°F which is "hot enough to burn hands and feet."

Sunscreen is your child's friend

Not only will sunscreen protect a child's skin, it can help keep them cool. "If you get sunburned, it's harder to cool your body down," Zaslow said.