Keeping kids cool in the summer heat is a must - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Keeping kids cool in the summer heat is a must

June 17, 2005

Albany- When the weather is as hot as it's been this week, a child can begin to suffer ill-affects from the heat just by sitting in the sun.

When Ellen Ungarino gets ready to head out into the heat with the kids, she keeps a cool head.

"It really gets so hot, and at least we're in the shade right now but generally it's just brutal hot," said Ellen Ungarino.

She should worry, kids can heat up quickly.

"Kids who are under two are particularly prone because they have a smaller body surface area they can lose heat or gain heat more quickly than other people," said Dr. Bruce Smith.

That's why you should never leave a child in a car even for a moment, and It's important to pay attention to both the heat and humidity.

"If both are over 80, 80 percent humidity and a temperature of 80 even athletic programs begin to go with softer exercises and give more rest breaks," said Dr. Smith.

And make sure kids get plenty of fluids when the temperatures climb above 90.

"Children under 88 pounds should drink, 5 ounces every 20 minutes of cold ice water or some kind of sports beverage," said Dr. Smith.

If a child starts showing signs of fatigue in the heat, cool them down quickly by taking clothing off or putting cold water on them.

"You can pack ice in the arm pit area and the groin area and around the neck," said Dr. Smith.

Ellen makes sure her kids never get to that point.

"We don't go outside much in the really hot times of the day, mostly in the morning or late late late in the evening," said Ungarino.

A simple rule to follow, but one that could save a life.

Pediatricians say breaks from the heat are important. If you can, put the kids in a car with the air conditioning running for a few minutes to cool them off.

Dr. Smith says if your body temperature reaches 103... you've got heat stroke and you need medical treatment quickly.

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