How can you beat the heat this summer?

Family-Safety

It’s summertime, get excited! The little ones already know what they want to do.

“Playing on park grounds and going swimming,” said Ian Reasonover 

“So excited because we are going to Disney World,” said Emma Plew 

The summer is the best time of year to get outside, relax, but heat here in Tennessee can be serious for you and your kids’ health too. 

“Children are more likely to become overheated and develop heat-related illness than older people because children have a much greater body surface area,” explained Dr. Don Arnold, Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. 

To stay ahead of serious illness, Dr. Arnold said there are warning signs. 

“If they are sleepy or not acting normally, if they are sweating excessively or dry mucus membranes from the mouth, or if they feel like their heart is racing a little bit,” said Dr. Arnold. 

Frequent breaks, staying cool, and hydration is key. 

Extra waters, sunscreen and extra blankets. Anything to keep them shaded,” said Melanie Jackson. 

You can’t forget high water content snacks. 

“Watermelon. They like strawberries and stuff too, but watermelon mostly,” said Marie Wright. 

Some of the older kids who are preparing for next football season on the gridiron are at risk too. 

“Athletes are at risk, partly because they don’t remember or desire to drink adequate fluids. It’s important they drink plenty of fluids before going out on the field, while they are out there and replenish electrolytes with sports drinks and even salt their foods,” said Dr. Arnold. 

At East Nashville Magnet School, head football coach, Brian Waite has a close eye on his team. 

“If it is extreme hot, we will take periodic breaks throughout practice. We will give them about a five to 10-minute break in between about 10 to 15 minutes of activity. And we will give them a water break to re-hydrate the body,” said Coach Waite. 

There are limits too where you need to throw in the towel. 

 “When the heat index hits 103, we are done,” said Coach Waite. 

A heat index when you combine the temperature and humidity that high could be common in the summer, but look at these extreme numbers from 2012. 

On June 29, Nashville recorded the hottest day on record of 109 degrees. It hit 110 degrees in Woodbury and for Cookeville, it was only the second time in history hitting triple-digit heat. 

So yes, our heat can be quite serious. Always keep in mind the right safety steps and this will be a great summer for you and the family.  

For more Summer Weather Safety stories, click here.

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