5 Ways to Prevent Heat Exhaustion at the Playground

Summer's here, and if your kid is anything like mine, that means he’ll want to spend every waking minute at the playground. I’m all for it (and I have to admit, summer bedtime is a breeze), but with all that running around, there is a risk of heat exhaustion.

How do you prevent it? Svetlana Kogan, M.D., shares some tips and tricks:

1. Hydrate. This means encouraging your kids to drink water, snack on such fruit like watermelon (which contains 80 percent water) and honeydew melon (which contains more than 60 percent water), and drink Gatorade, which replenishes salt in the body.

2. Dress right. Avoid kids’ clothes made of synthetic fabric, like Lycra, since it will only make her hotter. Breathable fabrics in white or light colors, which reflect the sunlight away from the body, are best.

3. Add a hat. Keep your kid’s head covered to protect her from the sun and also prevent her from staring at it. (Staring at the sun can result in a corneal flash, in which your child’s eyes will become teary, red and itchy.)

4. Protect the skin. For a long day at the playground, apply SPF 50+ and reapply it regularly, as sunburn will contribute to heat exhaustion.

5. Seek out shade. Be aware that if your kid is playing on the black pavement, it’s much easier for her to get warmer and hotter than if she plays underneath a tree.

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