Summer Days

So far between Memorial Day and the 4th of July, over 70 children have already summer sportsdrowned and there have been another 80 near drownings. Since this heatwave began just a few days ago, over 9 people have died from heat-related events. Being outside in 100-degree weather causes adults to lose a quart of water each hour. Water loss in children is proportional. Very young children are more susceptible. And the effects of the heat- may be fatal in as little as a day.

Temperatures on the asphalt are typically ten degrees more than surrounding grass. And autos- even with windows ‘cracked’ may reach temperatures in excess of 130 degrees in just a few minutes. This is never a safe place for kids or pets-not even for a few seconds-NEVER. Don’t do it. It’s also difficult to know the right thing to do when it comes to kids sports activities such as little league and youth soccer. When is it too hot? When should a game be called on account of heat?

You rarely if ever hear of a little league game being called due to heat but at least once a year there is a headline about a child who dies playing in the incredible heat. And we wonder why, why did they play? No kid wants to be the wimp and no parent wants to be the only one- the only holdout who hears, ‘but Mom all the other kids still get to go.’ Here are some tips to help keep your child safe this summer.

Pool Safety-What can you do?

  • Never let kids swim alone- keep a close eye- look for problems. If you can’t keep a dedicated eye- postpone your child’s swim even if you must endure some whining.
  • Make sure all pools are fenced and gated. Invest in floating alarms.
  • Keep flotation devices poolside.
  • If your pool is not deep- is not designed for diving- tell kids it’s not allowed- mean it.
  • Learn CPR

This Heat- What can you do.

  • Keep water handy. Drink up before you feel thirsty- stay ahead of dehydration. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are not as good as water and sports drinks.
  • Keep kids cool especially infants they simply have the same temperature regulation capability that we do.
  • Same with seniors- the most dangerous place for many seniors is in their home. Either they have no AC or won’t use it due to limited funds. Take them to a senior center, mall or cooling station.
  • If you must go outside for any time- WEAR SUNSCREEN.
  • If a person in this heat stops sweating get help immediately- this may be heat stroke- a serious medical emergency.
  • Learn CPR

Sports Activities- What can you do?

  • Speak up- voice your concerns- talk to other parents and coaches.
  • Have these discussions with league authorities prior to the first game being played. There are similar understandings and rules for when there is lightning in the area. Make it a rule.
  • Get a doctor involved. Perhaps one of the parents is a doctor and can help set realistic guidelines.
  • Remember too that this is not a safe environment for grandparents, siblings, and others with heart and other health problems.
  • If it comes down to it- when all else fails, even if you are the only one- keep your child back if you feel its too damn hot.

About the Author

Jim is a transportation safety expert with more than 40 years in both the emergency medical services and the school bus industries. Jim is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team and is proud to have been one of the original contributors to more than 13 years ago.


2 Responses to “Summer Days”

  1. Great advice Jim! Heat wave is a perfect excuse to head for the pool, and just as important to keep your kids hydrated while they are splashing. With any luck, they aren’t ingesting the pool water and that sun can really reflect off the water.
    .-= Rebecca Wear Robinson´s last blog ..If they are in the water- why are they ‘Climbing the Ladder’ =-.


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