Summer Isn’t Over Yet!
The back to school season is just around the corner and we’re fast approaching the dog days of summer (the “dog days of summer” refer to the hottest, most miserable days of the year sometimes lasting until October in some parts of the country). It’s never too late to stay vigilant on our families summer safety. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Harman Friedman about ways we can keep our families safe during the summer. With her help, I have created a few key tips for keeping our families safe this summer. We are Kaiser Permanente Orange County ambassadors, all opinions are our own.
Beat the Heat
It’s HOT! Now that we’ve entered the dog days of summer it’s more important than ever to be vigilant on care. During summer vacation, kids are at risk of heat related issues because of long days of sun and heat exposure. With too much heat exposure in infants and young children, they will risk getting a heat-related illness which is what happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The best defense against heat-related illnesses is a good defense.
- Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
- Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours. Dr. Harman Friedman suggested seeking out shade between the hours of 10am and 4pm – the hottest part of the day.
- Stay hydrated!
- Dr. Harman Friedman would like to remind us to take care of the elderly and make sure they have plenty of fans to keep them cool.
Kaiser Permanente Orange County strongly suggests that everyone apply sunscreen regardless of the amount of time they have planned for sun exposure. Sunscreen should be generously applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied at least every 2 hours.
Stay cool when it’s hot! Dr. Harman-Friedman feels it is very important to dress appropriately for the weather. When it is particularly hot outside wear loose, light colored clothing.
Heat exhaustion becomes a concern as temperatures rise. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include fatigue, extreme thirst, and muscle cramping. If a person isn’t able to cool down and rehydrate themselves, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke which is potentially fatal.
Heatstroke is a serious condition in which the body temperature rises above 104 F and requires emergency care. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
Keep an eye on the signs of dehydration in young children and older adults. Early signs can quickly escalate to Heatstroke.
Early Signs of Dehydration:
Dizzy or Lightheaded
Late Signs of Dehydration:
Red, dry skin
When the summer days are long and hot it only seems natural to want to jump into a refreshing pool to cool off. However and most unfortunately drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4.
- Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.
- Teach kids to swim! Dr. Harman Friedman suggest taking mommy and me classes to help get babies comfortable in the water and she also suggests taking formal swimming lessons starting at 3 or 4 years old (keeping in mind that even young children who know how to swim are not “water safe” and vigilant supervision is necessary with all children.)
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Install a four-sided fence around home pools.
The last day of summer is Friday, September 22nd. Even though the back to school season is quickly approaching it’s never to late to be extra vigilant on care during the hot summer days. Log on to Kaiser Permanente Orange County for more summer safety tips.