Summer is here and temperatures are rising to extreme degrees in some areas of the Middle East. Here are some expert guidelines on how to protect children from the heat while still enabling them to play and have fun. When the temperatures rise so much, especially with such high humidity, it is very important to know how to protect your children from getting ill.
Exposure to the heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat strokes.
The first and most important tip is to keep your children hydrated. Because of the humidity, the body’s temperature will increase higher than normal and it will need more fluids to stay cool. Encourage your kids to drink water all the time and provide them additional refreshing drinks like coconut water or watermelon juice. Make sure your kids drink before they play, while they are playing, and after they are done. Babies that are under 6 months should not be drinking water; however, you must nurse them more than usual to keep them hydrated.
Be aware of how many times your child goes to the bathroom throughout the day – your child needs to relieve himself at least every six hours and the urine should be pale yellow.
Secondly, be wise with your child’s wardrobe. Dress your children with light coloured and loose clothing. Light colours absorb less sunlight while the loose clothing allows the body to sweat and let off heat. Moreover, always apply sunscreen on your child’s skin during daytime.
Another tip is to cool off with water. Giving your child a cool bath after playtime is a great refreshing way of sustaining your child’s energy and health. Provided that, swimming is the best outdoor activity you can involve your children in during this season.
Additionally, plan your child’s outdoor activities early in the morning before the sun gets too hot. Always try to limit exposure to the sun during peak hours (11am – 3pm). Also consider the many air-conditioned indoor facilities where your children can play during hot hours.
More importantly, cars can get hot during summer days, so make sure you never leave your children or forget them in the car even for a couple of minutes. Children’s bodies heat up 3 to 5 times more quickly than adults’ does; and fatalities can occur even if the windows are down.
Finally, it is important to know some signs of heat exhaustion to know when you should cool them off. The signs include fast heart rate, vomiting, headaches, weakness, dizziness, fainting, cramps, clammy skin, drowsiness, and fatigue.- Courtesy Cook Children’s Healthcare System
Avoid common sun protection mistakes before heading out
Before you head out in summer, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen. Leading dermatologists everywhere recommend that people of all skin types wear sunscreen as part of their plan to protect themselves from exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, which can lead to skin cancer, including melanoma.
But the verdict among experts is loud and clear: wearing sunscreen is one of the most effective, accessible ways to combat the risk of skin cancer. And along with other sun safety measures— including seeking shade and covering up where possible - you can spend stress free summer months. here are few common sun-protection missteps to be aware of before you head out.
Assuming all sunscreens are alike: Sunscreen isn’t one size fits all. Everyone needs a different sunscreen that’s tailored to their lifestyle and favourite activities, skin type and aesthetic preferences. Before you buy, read the label and factor your planned activities and likely time in the sun into your choice of sunscreen.
Skipping sunscreen on cloudy days: Don’t be fooled! If you’re spending time outdoors, there’s no question about taking along your favourite sunscreen, even when the sun’s not shining brightly. If you’re prone to forgetting, try storing your sunscreen next to your tube of toothpaste. This small adjustment leads to a 20 percent increase in sunscreen use, according to a study published in 2017.
Missed spots: It happens to just about everyone from time to time. After a day of fun in the sun, that telltale redness on the shoulder or tricep reveals you missed a spot while applying sunscreen. Take care to apply and reapply sunscreen to all exposed areas. Don’t ignore commonly forgotten areas like ears and the tops of feet. And if you’re using a spray sunscreen, always rub it into your skin after spraying.
Thinking you’re one-and-done: If you have plans to spend any length of time outdoors, that first application of sunscreen will not protect your skin for the entire day — even when using the highest SPF sunscreens. The best way to stay sun safe is to reapply according to the directions on the package. To keep you on track, set an alarm so you always remember when to apply a fresh layer.
Forgetting your hat or cap: Equally as important as wearing sunscreen is seeking cover from the sun’s UV rays. To limit your skin’s direct exposure to the sun, accessorize with a brimmed hat or cap and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Take advantage of opportunities to seek shade under a tree, umbrella or wherever it’s available. But remember, sunscreen isn’t optional in shade — studies have shown that beach umbrellas do not thoroughly block UV rays. - BPT