Rainbow Pediatrics
Fayetteville Office
1327 Robeson St.
Fayetteville, NC 28305
(910) 486-5437
Fayetteville Office
341 S. McPherson Church Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28303
(910) 920-4428
Hope Mills Office
4469 S. Main St.
Hope Mills, NC 28348
(910) 426-5430
Raeford Office
142 Paraclete Dr.
Raeford, NC 28376
(910) 904-0404

Ten Tips for Keeping Kids Safe in Extreme Heat

As pediatric providers, we are strong advocates of play—particularly outdoors. But with summer temperatures rising, taking extra precautions is essential to keep kids safe from extreme heat. High temperatures can pose serious health risks for children, but with some simple strategies, parents can help ensure their kids stay safe and healthy during the hot summer months.

1. Stay Hydrated: Encourage children to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Dehydration can occur quickly in hot weather, so keeping kids well-hydrated is essential. Electrolytes formulated for kids are great options to add to water to restore lost fluids in extreme heat and during exercise. Avoid sports and energy drinks as the additives make them unhealthy options. Drink 30 minutes before exercise or sports and then drink 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes during exercise or sports.

2. Dress Appropriately. Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in light colors to help keep kids cool. Hats and sunglasses can also provide extra protection from the sun.

3. Seek Shade. When outdoors, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, especially during the hottest part of the day.  If shade is not readily available, consider using a sun umbrella or portable canopy to create a shaded area. 

4. Limit Outdoor Activities. Try to schedule outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon. If outdoor play is unavoidable, encourage frequent breaks in the shade and ensure access to plenty of water.

5. Stay Cool Indoors. When the temperatures soar, spending time indoors in air-conditioned or well-ventilated spaces can help kids beat the heat. If air conditioning is unavailable at home, consider visiting public places like libraries or shopping malls to cool off.

6. Never Leave Kids in Cars. It’s crucial to never leave children unattended in a parked car, even for a short period. Car interiors can quickly reach dangerous temperatures, posing a severe risk of heat stroke and dehydration.

7. Take Advantage of the Water. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and play while staying comfortable outdoors. If your child still needs swim lessons, enroll them at a community pool. 

8. Take a Break. When spending time outside in the summer, it is essential to take breaks to allow the body to cool off. It is not uncommon for kids to feel tired and a bit cranky when exposed to high temperatures. Rest breaks will allow your child to hydrate and rest their bodies so they feel (and act) better. 

9. Educate Kids. Teach children about the importance of staying safe in the heat. Help them recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and excessive sweating.

10. Watch for Signs of Heat Illness. Call us if you recognize any of the following signs of heat illness. 

  • Feeling faint
  • Intense thirst
  • Not urinating for many hours
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin numbness or tingling
  • Muscle aches or spasms
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Breathing faster or deeper than usual
  • Extreme tiredness (unusually sleepy)

Following these simple tips, parents can help keep their kids safe and healthy during extreme heat. Taking proactive measures to prevent heat-related illnesses is essential for enjoying a safe and fun summer season.