Playing outside in all types of weather and temperatures is very healthy and promotes the well-being derived from exercise. However, the body needs to adapt to changes in temperature and necessary precautions must be taken during very hot and very cold temperatures to avoid problems. Avoiding heat-related problems in hot weather is just as essential as avoiding frostbite in cold weather.
Direct heat (sunlight) and reflected heat (from sand, sidewalks, artificial surfacing, etc.) will increase the heat surrounding the body. The best way to cool off is through the skin; air movement and water (as in a swimming pool) are ways to improve this cooling mechanism. Heat illness can happen when the body is unable to cool off. Please follow these hot weather guidelines to protect your children.
Suspend all outdoor activity if possible, or limit time spent outdoors. Where possible keep children in an air-conditioned place.
Check frequently on children and monitor those in wheelchairs more closely.
Keep children well hydrated by giving water and diluted fruit juices frequently.
During an extreme heat alert
Follow Heat Alert Guidelines AND
Consider cancelling outdoor activity and keeping children indoors. If at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place or go to the shopping mall, library, recreational facilities or heat-relief shelters.
Sunburn: redness, pain, swelling of skin, blisters, fever and headaches.
Treatment: Leave water blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection. If breaking of blister occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious cases should be seen by a physician.
Heat Cramps: heavy sweating can cause painful muscle spasms usually in the legs but possible in the abdomen.
Treatment: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm; give sips of water, if nausea occurs discontinue sips of water, move person to a cooler place to rest in a comfortable position. Observe the person carefully for changes in condition.
Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, weak pulse, fainting and vomiting, core temperature usually 38.8 Celsius or higher, but normal temperature is possible.
Treatment: Get person out of sun, move person to a cooler environment, lay person down and loosen clothing, apply cool wet cloths, give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue sips of water; if vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
Heatstroke: severe medical emergency, high body temperature (41 degrees Celsius or higher), hot, dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness.
Treatment: Call 911, if unable to get person to medical help immediately, do the following:
Move person to a cooler environment
Remove outer clothing
Reduce body temperature using lukewarm (not cold) water to bathe/sponge the person