The chart below shows how heat index works. It’s the combination of heat and humidity.
Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Hot Weather
Tools for keeping your kids safe in the heat are hydration, rest, shade, air conditioning (or fans) and good sense.
- Child’s age – During yellow chart conditions:
- Children under age 4 should drink 8 ounces of fluid about 45 minutes before they go outdoors. Don’t let them stay outdoors for longer than an hour at a time and make sure that after 30 minutes, they take a 10-minute break in the shade and drink at least 4 ounces of fluids.
- Children 5 to 10 years old can play up to two hours at a time, but they also need to take breaks every 30 minutes. Before and during play, they should drink 8–16 ounces of fluids.
- For children older than 10, fluid consumption should increase to 12–24 ounces.
- Heat index – As the index reaches the upper orange and the lower red area, children need to take breaks more frequently: every 20–30 minutes, with a longer break every 60 minutes or so. Also, they should increase their fluid intake by about 25–35%.
- Child’s self-assessment – Children are terrible at assessing their own state of hydration or fatigue. Do not wait for your child to say they are thirsty. Do not wait for your child to say they are tired. Stick to the rest and hydration schedule – over their protests, if necessary.
- Heat conditioning – We get better at handling heat as our bodies get more practice. This means that your year-round little soccer player may tolerate the summer’s heat better than your mostly bookish child who goes outside to chase bugs. Overheating tends to be quite common in early summer because our bodies are not yet conditioned to the heat.
- Clothing – Hats. Loose-fitting shorts, dresses and short-sleeved shirts (we have lots of cute ones to choose from). Dress your kids clothing that is light in weight and color.
- Time limits – You will find that your child tires a bit faster while playing outdoors. If they get very tired, or develop muscle cramps, get them into the shade and give them sips of cold fluids. Once fully recovered, they may return to play.
- Pack smart – Carry a small cooler in the car with you all summer. You’re always within 5 minutes of buying ice and water.
- Apply and reapply sunscreen – You’ve heard about the importance of using sunscreen, but did you know that a child with sunburn has even lower heat tolerance? This is another reason to keep sunscreen with you and to reapply as directed by instructions on the bottle.
*Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable children’s clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are the top Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company and we look forward to outfitting your children in our adorable clothes!