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Three Ways to Keep Your Kids Cool

Summer is here and temperatures are on the rise. Keeping cool isn’t just about comfort – high temperatures can result in heat-related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The following tips can help keep your kids cool all summer long.

1. Schedule play time during the cooler, early morning or late evening hours. Stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces. If your child is at camp, ask the counselors or coaches about plans for hot days including extra water breaks. If you don’t have air-conditioning at home, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater or other public space that is cool. Don’t forget about your community pool, public beaches and splash parks.

2. Dress your children in a single layer of loose-fitting cotton clothing, preferably of a light color. The loose fit and cotton will allow your child to sweat, which is the body’s natural way to let off extra heat. Cotton clothing will be more comfortable than synthetic materials like polyester. If you have to be outside, be sure your child wears a hat to provide shade and prevent sunburn.

3. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Children should start drinking before they get thirsty and continue to drink water throughout the day. Schedule hydration breaks for kids to ensure they are drinking enough water. With younger children, keep track of your bathroom visits – babies and children should be urinating at least every six hours – and their urine should be a pale yellow color.

These simple steps can help get your family through our hot summer months. Plan ahead, use common sense and keep an eye on your children. If you suspect your child may have a heat-related illness, seek medical attention right away.