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The Hood Magazine

Keep your Family Cool and Safe in the Heat

Aug 15, 2023 ● By Sanford Health
By: Sanford Health 

Summer is here, and with it comes fun in the sun. It’s important that you and your family take precautions when enjoying the outdoors this summer. 

Sun protection 

Stay safe by wearing protective clothing like swim shirts and long sleeves, and don’t forget hats and sunglasses. 

Take advantage of the shade when possible and be especially careful to limit exposure to the sun during high-intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

Always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and read labels to ensure it offers protection from UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. 

Babies less than six months old should avoid sun exposure and dress in long sleeves and pants with brimmed hats that cover the neck. It’s OK to apply minimal amounts of sunscreen to small areas like the face or back of their hands. In case of newborn sunburn, provide relief with cool compresses. 

Heat stress 

Avoid heat stress during peak heat and humidity times by limiting intense exercise and activity to 15 minutes. If you are beginning a strenuous exercise program or traveling to a warmer climate, limit exercise and slowly work up your pace over a period of 10 to 14 days to get acclimated to the heat. 

Maintain water intake to ensure hydration before and during prolonged physical activity. Even if your child is not feeling thirsty, follow the below guidelines every 20 minutes for water intake to avoid dehydration: 

A 90-pound child needs 5 ounces of water. 

A 130-pound adolescent requires 9 ounces of water. 

Wear lightweight clothing and only one layer of absorbent materials, promptly changing sweaty shirts in favor of dry clothing. Periods of activity in the heat should be shortened and include more frequent water breaks than other times of the year.