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Keep your Cool when the Heat is On

Summer is back with a vengeance -- and it's not even summer yet. But the heat can be dangerous, particularly for people who are exerting themselves in it. For kids, whose end of school sports are still in full swing, high temperature and humidity should not be taken for granted.

The danger of heat exhaustion or stroke should always be taken into consideration where hot weather and exertion are concerned, particularly with children, who might not recognize some of the signs of heat-related conditions.

The Mayo Clinic states the human body creates a tremendous amount of internal heat, and it normally cools itself by sweating and radiating heat through the skin. Children, due to their relatively smaller skin surface, can heat faster than adults when the air temperature is higher than their body temperature. This can lead to a buildup of heat and result in heat cramps, exhaustion or heatstroke. These potentially dangerous conditions are preventable if you're aware of the conditions that lead to them.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion in children include:

Muscle cramps, pale skin and a fever over 102 degrees. Additionally, victims of heat exhaustion or heatstroke can have nausea, vomiting,? diarrhea, ?headache, ?fatigue, ?weakness and anxiety.

The Mayo Clinic has some tips to avoid heat-related illness in children:

Make sure kids drink enough water before, during and after activities, and avoid giving them sports drinks loaded with sugar.

Dress children in light-colored, cotton clothing.

Try to schedule vigorous outdoor activity during cooler times of the day and avoid mid-day sun.

Teach children to listen to their bodies and to rest if they need to, in a cool, shady area.

Are you more aware of heat-related health issues than you used to be, given the extreme temperatures of last summer? Let me know here.

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