Working 4 you: Preventing heat illnesses in young children

Working 4 you: Preventing heat illnesses in young children

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's expected to be a very hot week in Spokane, and that means children are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses. 

There is always something to do outside in the summer, and it can be easy for time to slip by. But experts say it's important to recognize that children and adults tolerate heat very differently. 

According to doctors, children are at a higher risk for heat related injuries. They say children have thinner skin and don't manage heat exchange well. Children also tend to lose more fluids through their skin. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants and children younger than four are among those at the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses. 

So, doctors have some suggestions for children who are heading out to play. 

First, they urge parents to plan ahead. Make sure children are hydrating before they head outside to play. And once they are outside, make sure children are drinking every 20 to 30 minutes. Children should be taking frequent breaks to hydrate. 

Doctors also add that it's important to watch what your children are drinking. Make sure they're not drinking any caffeinated sodas. 

While water is usually a sufficient drink, after an hour outside in hot weather you may want to consider providing a sports drink for the added electrolytes. 

It's also important for parents to be able to recognize the symptoms of a heat illness. If your child experiences any faintness, extreme tiredness, nausea, fever or muscle spasms, it could be a sign they need medical attention.