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Know the signs of heat stress this summer in older kids and infants

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Summer camps mean activity in the heat for kids. (Stock image)

Well, summer is definitely here. With the warm weather the Lake Chelan area is experiencing and with various sports camps happening for school teams this summer, Chelan Fire and Rescue thought it would be important to share information from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding heat stress in exercising children.

The intensity of activities for kids that lasts 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reaches critical levels.

At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat.

Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.

Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.

Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.

Child in hot car. (Stock image)

Heat stress in infants:

Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under. Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:

1. Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.

2. Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.

3. Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.

4. Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.

5. Place our cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.


Chelan Fire and Rescue

232 East Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA 98816


(509) 682-4476




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