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How to prevent heat-related illnesses in children

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 10:06:06-04

(KERO) — We've been seeing high temperatures in Kern County and with the kids out for summer break spending more time outside can lead to dehydration and heat illness quickly.

But a pediatrician says you can help your child beat the heat by hydrating the night before.

"I want you to drink a bottle of water before you go to bed and another one before you start in the morning, so you start your day at a full tank. Then as you play, and you get dehydrated you can actually just stay up in higher levels," explained Dr. Richard So with the Cleveland Clinic.

High temperatures and humidity can cause heat illness. So if your kid seems tired, cranky, or fatigued while outside playing they may be dehydrated.

Dr. So says to have your child take a break, get in the shade, and drink some water. He also says water is best for battling dehydration in kids, but sports drinks or even an ice cream cone or popsicle can help cool them down from the inside out.

If your kids are having heat cramps they'll need electrolytes and salt like potato chips or pickle juice in addition to water.

But a real red flag is exhaustion and vomiting. These are dangerous signs of possible heat stroke.

"When you see a kid that's in the heat and they're vomiting, that's a tell-tale sign that that kid is in trouble, where, number one, the first thing you need to do is cool that kid down."

And you can do that quickly by spraying your child with a garden hose or taking them into the pool. But if your child is having changes in consciousness go to the emergency room or call 9-1-1 immediately.