Keep Kids Safe in Summer With These Tips For Parents!
June, 28th, 2016
Summer in South Carolina is no joke. With nearly triple-digit days by mid-June and humidity that can leave you feeling like you’re wading through the ocean just to take a walk, keeping safe in the heat becomes essential — especially for parents, since children aren’t always great at recognizing when they’ve been outside too long in the sun. We have a few safety tips for parents that can help your children have a happy and healthy summer break!
Watch for Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can be mild, moderate, or severe (in which case it turns into heatstroke), with the more severe cases sometimes requiring a trip to the ER. Head this heat-induced illness off at the pass by keeping a close eye on the amount of time your kids have been outside. The younger a child is, the less time they can safely spend outdoors in 90+-degree temperatures. Symptoms of mild to moderate heat exhaustion include fatigue, extreme thirst, and muscle cramping. If your child develops a headache, begins to vomit, feels nauseous or dizzy, or stops sweating even though it’s hot and sunny, you may be dealing with heatstroke.
To help bring your child’s temperature down if you suspect heat exhaustion or heatstroke, spray them with cold water from a bottle or hose, get them into the shade or indoors as quickly as possible, and ask them to sip cool water continuously. An ice pack held under the armpits can help speed up the cool-down process. If you suspect you’re looking at heatstroke, call 911 or your child’s pediatrician right away.
For infants, please keep them in air-conditioned buildings whenever possible and only spend short bursts of time outdoors during midday heat, and only when necessray. Infants under 1 year of age are especially vulnerable to heat-induced illness.
Teach Your Kids About Poisonous Plants
Surprisingly, it’s easy to discover plants like poison ivy or poison sumac growing right in your backyard, even if you regularly mow. Any shady, tree-covered area could end up growing these poisonous plants, and the natural tendency of children to wander (and the great availability in South Carolina of state and national parks perfect for a day of hiking) could lead to your child coming home with an itchy or blistering rash.
The upside is that these rashes aren’t contagious once the skin and clothing have been washed. If you suspect exposure to poison ivy or sumac, have your child wash the exposed area and put the clothing they were wearing directly into the wash. An oral antihistamine and topical anti-itch cream should help with symptoms until the rash clears on its own.
To prevent exposure in the first place, teach your kids about the appearance of poison ivy and sumac, so they’ll recognize it and know to stay away. Poison ivy grows as a vine or shrug, and is typically located in heavily wooded areas. It has three notched and pointed leaves for each stem. Poison sumac, on the other hand, is actually a tall shrub or even small tree. Its leaves grow six to twelve at a time, in pairs, with a single leaf topping each stem.
Keep Them Clear of Food Poisoning
With cookouts, barbecues, and other outdoor dinner parties a big draw during the summer months, food poisoning becomes more likely. Make sure your child still washes his or her hands before eating, and if there isn’t a way to do that, keep antibacterial gel on hand for them to use. Any food prep surfaces should be washed well before and after use, and any marinated food should remain in the fridge or cooler full of ice until it is taken out to be cooked and eaten. Keep cold food at about 40 degrees, and don’t put out any cold dishes like pasta or potato salads until just before eating.
Symptoms of food poisoning include a sudden nausea or the onset of vomiting or diarrhea within a few hours after eating. It can take up to two days for a child to completely recover, and in that time they will need plenty of rest, a very bland diet, and will need to stay hydrated. Call your child’s pediatrician if you suspect food poisoning. Although food poisoning doesn’t usually require a trip to the doctor’s office, they’ll still want to be aware in case you need to bring your child in.
We are not medical professionals. If you’re concerned about the possibility of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, food poisoning, or other summer safety issues, please speak with your child’s pediatrician.
Keep Safe — Call Corley
For those of us here at Corley, keeping your HVAC up and running while the temperatures soar is the best thing we can do to help keep your family safe. If your A/C is blowing warm air, not cooling your entire home, or has just plain quit working entirely, give us a call! We’d love to come help you get your home back to being a place of comfort and a refuge from the heat. We also provide electrical, plumbing, and drain services all throughout the Greenville area here in South Carolina. Reach us by phone at (864) 334-8966 or contact us online at any time to schedule service!