In Texas, almost seemingly at the drop of a hat or a change in the wind, the temperatures can climb up into the 100s and can cause serious health problems for people who have to stay outside too long. Every Texan knows that it can be cool and comfortable one day and be a scorcher the next. As the weather shifts to summer conditions, Texans need to pay particular attention to children and pets and how long they stay in the sun for extended periods of time; on the hottest days, even a few minutes of carelessness can cause serious problems. We’ve put together a few tips outlined by the National Weather Service to help get you and your family through the summer months safely.
Beware the Car
The car can be an extremely dangerous place for children and pets alike. Even during relatively cool weather, a car can heat up tremendously and quickly, reaching much higher temperatures inside than outside. Never, under any circumstances, leave your child in a parked car during the summer. A child stuck in a parked car can develop hyperthermia (not to be confused with hypothermia), a condition when your body absorbs more heat than it can naturally handle. Even on days where it doesn’t seem that hot, a car can magnify the outside temperature, even if the windows are slightly opened.
Keep an Eye on the UV Index
The UV index is the anticipated amount of damaging UV radiation that will occur when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, usually around noon. Paying attention to the UV index can be a great way to determine whether sunscreen lotion is necessary. In most cases, applying some sunscreen is a good idea, especially during the Texas summers.
Drink Plenty of Water
The final component of maintaining good health is proper hydration. Particularly during the summer months, drinking enough water is paramount to staying healthy. Especially since little kids frequently love to play outside, parents and caregivers should enforce water breaks. You should also prioritize giving them water instead of sugary drinks.
Be on the lookout for danger signs. Flushed cheeks, heavy sweating, dizziness, vomiting, or cramps are just a few signs of heat exhaustion. If you see any of these happening, get your child out of the sun immediately into some place cold. You should also apply cold cloths to their forehead or to as much of their body as possible.
The summertime is a great time for outdoor fun, but it can also be dangerous. Follow these guidelines, be on the lookout for the signs, and keep your child safe even in the heat!