According to Dr. Karen Sheehan of Children’s Memorial Hospital, says “Young children are especially vulnerable to heat because they produce more heat at rest, they have a higher body surface area to mass ratio and they absorb more heat. They don’t sweat as well as adults. An adult and adolescent who are healthy, it takes about four days to get used to this type of weather, but for a kid it’s about two weeks and that puts them at much more risk.”
Be careful when traveling with children in your car. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen horrific stories of a parent who left a sleeping baby in the back seat forgetting their child was in the car. Since cars are so much hotter on the inside, place your purse or wallet in the back seat, when you get in the car. That way, you look in the back seat when you get out of your car. I know you’re thinking, “I would never leave my child in my vehicle.” Still it’s better to be safe than sorry and parents with the best intentions have had tragedy strike in the worst way due to “not thinking”.
One concern, during summer months is opening windows at home because children have fallen through screens and had terrible accidents or worse, lost their lives.
Here’s another tip to remember.
Amy Hill, Injury Prevention Manager at Children’s Memorial says “If you need to open windows, open from the top down. Also, move furniture away from the windows so kids can’t crawl on top and fall out. That’s what happens most often, people don’t think about the couch being near the window. They crack the window for some circulation and the kid climbs up and falls out. It’s a huge problem in Chicago.”
Water activities are good for cooling children down, but again, the risks associated with pools needs to be addressed since 300 children every year never make it to their 5th birthday due to drownings.
Hill says “It’s important for parents and caregivers to remember that babies and toddlers can drown in one inch of water. Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after you are done using them.”
Always take your cordless phone with you outside and never ever leave your child unattended in water, even for a moment.