Follow these safety and first-aid tips and avoid calling 911 later.
Rules to Live By
"When you are sweating too much, it's time to come out of the sun," she says. I wouldn't do anything in the hot sun for longer than 15 or 20 minutes at a clip because the body can lose a significant amount of water content from sweating -- setting you up for heat stroke."
It's not just heat that makes summer fun problematic, she says. "Cold is big problem when kids are out swimming and have been in the water so long that their lips are blue, they are shivering, and their body temperature has dropped." Make them warm back up to 98.6 before they go back in, no matter how much they plead. "All kids want to do is have fun, so a parent has to be a parental and make sure that they warm up."
Children pose a special challenge during the summer, says Denise Salerno, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Temple University in Philadelphia.
No matter what the potential peril is, "the key is being prepared. Travel with a little first aid kit and make sure you have it where it's readily available to save trips to the ER," she says.
"The biggest warning that a kid is getting overheated is if they are complaining and have started to sweat," she says. Remember that "if it gets to an extreme, they don't sweat. If a child complains of lightheadedness, take them out of the game."
To nip heat stroke in the bud, "take them into a cool place and make sure they are hydrated with water or a sports drink."
With kids around water, you always worry about drowning. "Never leave kids unattended around any water, and make sure there's adult supervision from an adult who knows how to swim," Salerno says.
Most of us probably recall being told that you can drown if you go into the water too soon after eating. The truth is that "when you are digesting food, there's less blood flow in your body and this takes away from strength, so if you had to really use your strength for undertow, you may have a problem," Leahy says. The best bet is to wait a half an hour after you eat before getting back in the water.