Summer in the south is officially here! With rising temperatures, it is important to take steps to protect those around us who might be vulnerable to the heat, like our children and pets.
Did you know that we lose heat by sweating? Water literally evaporates into the atmosphere and sucks the heat out of our bodies. Children produce even more heat than adults. This is because they have more body surface for their height. Children are also closer to the ground – and to hot pavement. They can easily become dehydrated or overheated. Here are some tips to keep your children safe in the heat:
Make sure children are well-hydrated.
Give your child water before, during and after outdoor activity. Kids really do not need sports drinks, and they definitely do not need energy drinks. However, if you have a teenager who is active in sports, it is okay to give him or her a sports drink after practice or a game.
Acclimatize your child over time if he or she is not used to the heat.
It takes us seven to 14 days to become accustomed to a hot climate, so get your child used to the temperatures by slowly increasing the amount of time you spend outside.
When temperatures rise, it is also important to protect your pet! Dogs lose heat through panting because they have very few sweat glands. Here are tips to protect your dogs:
Provide a shady spot with lots of water where dogs can cool off
Avoid dog houses because they can trap heat.
Keep short-faced breeds indoors as much as possible
Breeds like bull dogs, boxers and pugs have a difficult time cooling off and need cool temperatures.
Apply sunscreen, especially on your pet’s nose and ears, as well as any visible skin
Pets can sunburn just like people.
This summer, make sure your children and pets stay protected from the elements. If you or your child suffer heat exhaustion or dehydration, seek treatment at one of our Emergency Departments at Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Piedmont Newnan Hospital or Piedmont Henry Hospital.