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How to Safely Enjoy the Outdoors Under High Temperatures

Some regions of the United States are dealing with higher temperatures, and Florida is not the exception. Florida's humidity plus the excessive heat is a recipe for trouble, and it presents a health concern we must be aware of. As parents and caregivers, we must be aware of the health risks of high temperatures. These risks are heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, sunburn, heat rash, and blisters. These are the signs you should watch for:

  • Feeling faint

  • Extreme tiredness (unusually sleepy, drowsy, or hard to arouse)

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • Intense thirst

  • Not urinating for many hours

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Breathing faster or shallow breathing

  • Skin numbness or tingling

  • Muscle aches

  • Muscle spasms

Please, if you think you or your child is suffering from one of the heat-related illnesses, seek help immediately.

Enjoying the outdoors during high temperatures should not be a problem if you do it safely. We want to share some tips to follow during the rest of the summer to avoid these risks.

  1. Keep your children out of hot cars- It is crucial not to leave a child alone inside the car. Leaving a child in a hot car for prolonged hours can be deadly. Over 1,000 children have died in hot cars nationwide since 1990, according to the Kids and Car Safety organization. Studies have revealed that the inside of a vehicle heats up VERY quickly. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes.

  • Protect your child from the sun- Whenever your child is outside, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 to 30. Choose one that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours and after being in the water or sweating. Keep your children under one year of age out of the direct sun as much as possible. Studies suggest that when it is 90 degrees or above and humid, children should not play outside or exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time.

  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- Plan water breaks every fifteen minutes. When playing outside or enjoying the outdoors, bring water-rich snacks, like juice popsicles, fresh fruits (watermelon and grapes are perfect), and plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks since they tend to make you lose water.

  • Avoid the hottest times of the day- Temperatures are usually hotter from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can plan to do things early in the morning or through the evening.

  • Take breaks- If you are enjoying the outdoors, encourage your kids to take breaks in a shadowed area. You can have a tent ready or have a gazebo so they can take a break from the sun, eat something, or rest.

  • Plan Water-Related Activities- You can play with water balloons and water slides, or you can use the water hose to create a water mist.

As you can see, we can enjoy the outdoors safely if we are careful and mindful of safer ways to create happy memories during the summer. We hope you can apply these, have lots of fun with your kids and be safe.

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