HOUSTON (CW39) When it comes to kids and hot weather, parents and teachers need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to keep kids safe when they are playing outside.

“It’s been extremely hot summer, we know that. So it’s going to be a real challenge,” said at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s.

Houston saw its hottest June and July this year. August has been wetter, but it’s Southeast Texas, so it’s still going to be hot and humid.

Our average highs don’t break out of the 90s until late September, and we have seen triple digit records set toward the end of the month.

Heat results in hundreds of fatalities each year. It can be very taxing on the body, especially for young kids because their bodies can’t adapt as well to the heat like adults. 

For kids outside playing during recess in the afternoon or on the practice fields after school, parents and school staff need to be vigilant of heat-related illness and practice caution.

“For those that have kids doing things outside, we want to make sure shade hydration cooling stations available, ask them how they’re doing. If there’s any sign of altered mental state, we need to get them out of that heat. If these things are ignored, it can result in really severe illness for the kid.”

Tips to beat the heat

If you are going to be outside, there are several steps you can take to beat the heat and protect your child from heat-related illness and hazards:

Stay hydrated: Encourage your children to drink water frequently and have it readily available—even before they ask for it. Take water bottles with you if you go out. On hot days, infants receiving breast milk in a bottle can be given additional breast milk in a bottle, but they should not be given water, especially in the first 6 months of life. Infants receiving formula can be given additional formula in a bottle.

Dress lightly: Dress your children in clothing that is light-colored, lightweight, and limited to one layer of absorbent material that will maximize the evaporation of sweat. Kids have a lower capacity for sweating than adults. Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen.

Plan for extra rest time: Heat can often make children (and their parents) feel tired. High heat can not only cause people to feel tired, but it may also contribute to irritability. Come inside regularly to cool off, rest, and drink water.

Keep your cool: When your child is feeling hot, give them a cool bath or water mist to cool down. Swimming is another great way to cool off while staying active. Remember that children should always be supervised while swimming or playing in water to prevent drowning.

Never leave your child in a car: The inside of a car can become dangerously hot in just a short amount of time, even with the windows open.

Call your pediatrician immediately if your child develops any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling faint
  • Extreme tiredness (eg, unusually sleepy, drowsy, or hard to arouse)
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Intense thirst
  • Not urinating for many hours
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing faster or deeper than normal
  • Skin numbness or tingling
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Remember

Don’t hesitate to call your child’s pediatrician for guidance on how to protect your child during extreme heat.