Keeping children safe in the heat
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Peyton Newman
With triple digit temperatures, the heatwave is becoming too hot to handle for everyone, but more so for children.
Children and infants under the age of three are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It is vital to keep a close eye on them amid the scorching temperatures.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports young children have a more difficult time adapting to the extreme heat. The elderly are also more at-risk in these temperatures.
Dr. William Barton from DCH Health System explains why all children are ore at risk than adults.
“They’re just more physically active outdoors, and you have more evaporative fluid losses that way. They don’t tend to stop and, you know, take their hydration breaks. So they can become more dehydrated or more susceptible to having heat exhaustion. Just, I think, more because of their physical activity.”
Heat waves increase the risk for anyone to develop a heat-related illness, including heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Warning signs include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and increased perspiration.
If you notice yourself or someone you know experiencing symptoms similar to these, Dr. Barton has some tips.
“The first thing is cooling,” Dr. Barton said. “So get them into an air conditioned environment, cooling rags. You can do ice packs applied to the thighs and the axilla in the armpits. Encouraging them to stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day, and, you know, stay hydrated rather than wait until you feel thirsty to drink.”
It is crucial to stay hydrated and take regular breaks in such extreme heat.