Beat the Heat this Labor Day Weekend

With temperatures expected to reach the 90s this Labor Day weekend, please ensure your family stays cool and hydrated to avoid the risk of heat related illness. Check out the following tips for a fun and safe holiday:

• Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. By the time you or your child are thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.

• For those who participate in sports, drink extra fluids before the activity begins. Take frequent rest and refreshment breaks. Avoid strenuous activities if possible, especially if you are outside.

• Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in vehicles.

• Stay cool indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls.

• Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and use sunscreen. Remember to reapply sunscreen often when swimming or perspiring.

• Take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.

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Heat Stroke in the Car is Preventable – What Every Family Should Know

CHOC would like to remind everyone never to leave a child alone in a vehicle. Despite public education, every year, children die from heat stroke or experience varying degrees of heat illness after being left unattended in a vehicle.  Amy Frias, BS, CLEC, CPSTI, OC Safe Kids coordinator and community educator at CHOC, says that this summer alone 19 children died nationally – three of them from California. Moreover, she explains that these tragic incidents are 100 percent preventable!

According to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, even at relatively cool ambient temperatures, the temperature rise in vehicles is significant on clear, sunny days and puts infants at risk for hyperthermia. The majority of the temperature rise occurs within the first 15 to 30 minutes. And, leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process.

To ensure your kids are safe, check out the following Q&A with Amy Frias:

Q: What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
A: Heat stroke or hyperthermia, is a life threatening condition where a child’s temperature rises to 104 degrees or more, causing delirium, rapid heartbeat, convulsions or coma. Symptoms can quickly progress to seizures, organ failure and even death.

Q:  What key messages do you have for parents regarding heat stroke?
A: Keep in mind the Safe Kids World Wide Prevention Tips – ACT.

Avoid Never leave your child alone in the car, even for a minute. Consistently lock unattended vehicle, doors and trunks. Keep car keys/remotes out of children’s sight and reach.

Create reminders – Create reminders by putting something in the back seat of your car next to your child that is needed at your final destination, such as, a briefcase or purse. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.

Take action – If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. One call could save a life.

Q: Is there an age group more at risk?
A: Children, in general, overheat up to five times faster than adults. Children are more at risk because their bodies absorb heat more quickly. Their perspiration doesn’t cool them as well as it does adults. They can’t change their environment by removing clothing or getting out of the vehicle.

Q: If your or someone else’s child is suffering from heat stroke, what can you do while medical assistance arrives?
A:
• Take the child to a cool place.

• Remove as much of their clothing as possible.

• If available, apply cold packs or ice to areas of large blood vessels (neck, groin, armpits) to accelerate cooling. If possible cover with a wet sheet and fan the child to increase air circulation.

• Take her body temperature every five minutes and continue your cooling efforts until the thermometer reads 102 degrees F or less.

• Heat stroke victims sometimes begin to twitch uncontrollably. In the event of a seizure, make sure the child doesn’t injure herself. Never try to insert a spoon or other hard object in the child’s mouth; simply turning the child’s head to the side will suffice.

For more information, please visit these helpful sites:
http://www.safekids.org/
http://kidsincars.org/
http://www.itsthatserious.org/

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Protect Your Family Against Heat-Related Illness

As a heat wave sweeps over Orange County, remember that high temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some tips to help stay cool:

Boy in helmet drinks water to stay cool in heat wave• Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.

• Stay cool indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.

• Check often on those at high risk. This includes older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.

• Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, and hats, and use sunscreen.

• Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in buildings without air conditioning. Take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.

But year-round, parents, guardians and caregivers must be vigilant against leaving children, elderly people and pets alone in cars.

On average nationwide, 37 children die in hot cars annually from heat-related incidents. Nearly every state has experienced a child vehicular heat stroke death.

Girl in car seat

Community  educators at CHOC recommend the following tips for avoiding heat stroke:

  • Never leave a child alone in the car — for any amount of time. In California, it’s against the law to leave any child younger than 6 alone in a vehicle without a person who is at least 12 years old.
  • Teach kids not to play in cars, and kept your car locked so they can’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders for yourself not to forget your child in the backseat of your car. Leave an important item in the backseat near your child, like a wallet or cellphone that is needed at your final destination.
  • If you notice a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately.

Parents can retain these tips by remembering to ACT– Avoid leaving your child alone in the car. Create reminders, such as one that ensures you dropped your child off at daycare that morning. Take action: If you see a child alone in a car, calling 911 could mean saving their life.

Heat stroke symptoms include dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, hot and dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations. These symptoms can progress to seizures, organ failure or death if not immediately treated.

If a child is experiencing heat stroke, there are several things you can do until medical assistance arrives. Take the child to a cool place, remove as much of their clothing as possible, and apply cold packs or ice to areas with large blood vessels (neck, groin, armpits) to accelerate the cooling process.

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Heatstroke Awareness Month

CHOC would like to remind everyone to never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Since 1998, more than 550 children across the United States have died from heatstroke while unattended in cars. Purple Ribbon Month is recognized annually during the month of August and serves as a reminder that it is never safe to leave a child unattended in a vehicle and in memory of all of the children that have lost their lives to these preventable tragedies.

Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, is a condition that occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Young children are particularly at risk as their body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child’s internal temperature gets to 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down.

Symptoms may include dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat or hallucinations. Symptoms can quickly progress to seizures, organ failure and even death.

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends to always ACT: AVOID heatstroke related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car. Make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own. CREATE reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine. TAKE action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations.

Remember, it takes very little time for a child to be at great risk of death or injury when alone in a car. For more information, please visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke.

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Stay Cool – Tips to Beat the Heat

It’s going to be a hot weekend in Orange County! As temperatures rise, the risk of heat related illnesses for those who are more sensitive to the heat, also increases.

Look for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness. Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.

To help prevent heat related illnesses, check out these tips recommended by the Orange County Health Care Agency:

• Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
• Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in vehicles.
• Stay cool indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.
• Check often on those at high risk. This includes older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.
• Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Wear light, loosefitting clothing, a hat, and use sunscreen.
• Avoid unnecessary exertion outdoors. Take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.

For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.

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