As adults we know when we’re feeling the effects of a heat wave and dehydration, we know it means making far more regular trips to the water cooler and canteen, we know it means conserving our energy; but with children it’s a lot more challenging.
Children don’t perspire as much as adults do, which means their bodies are inclined to overheat more quickly. They don’t always act on their thirst mechanism, which may also not be fully developed in some cases. And they don’t know how to conserve energy, most children generally move at one speed – hyper speed.
So how are you to keep children safe during heat waves like the one we’re just coming out of?
- To begin with, don’t wait for them to start showing signs of fatigue and lethargy – by then it’s too late and they may already be dehydrated, instead give them water at regular intervals during the day.
- Keep time outdoors limited, unless it means paddling or swimming in a pool, but even then you’ll need to keep a watchful eye, because the excitement of water play can initially mask the symptoms of overheating.
- Make water intake fun, add sliced fruits or berries to their water, keep lots of frozen juice lollies and juicy fruits handy – you can also try fancy ice cubes in their favourite superhero shapes and a kiddies water cooler just for them.
- If they’re older and have access to a smartphone (even if it’s yours) or a tablet, then consider using an app that encourages water intake, something like Plant Nanny is ideal because it’s highly interactive – you choose a seedling and help it grow by tracking how much water you drink.
By being careful and ensuring they drink water as regularly as you do, you’ll make sure they breeze through these heat waves without feeling any adverse effects.