SAN ANGELO, Texas — There’s nothing wrong with children having fun in the sun, but the sun can cause overheating and dehydration. Especially in triple-digit heat. Health experts share a few tips to follow when taking your children out and about on a summer day.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's.
Dr. Allison Walker at Shannon Health Pediatrics says she encourages parents to take their children out for fresh air, but regulate how long they’re exposed to the sun.
“Try to plan it at times of the day. Like if you were to go outside earlier in the morning before it's too hot in the day, try to plan to go to areas where there's more shade. You know, pick the front of your house if if there's a good break in the day where there's some shade out in front compared to the back, try to plan it for a shorter spurts during the day and then just make sure that they're drinking lots of water having sun protection and wearing light protective clothing while they're out there,” Walker recommends.
Leaving children in hot vehicles has been a constant issue in the United States with 23 children dying from a hot car death in 2021, according to Noheatstroke.org.
The NHTSA also says when a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child's temperature can rise quickly, and they could die within minutes.
Leaving something valuable in the backseat such as a shoe, wallet or purse is something Safe Kids San Angelo Coordinator Jamie Harden says could help parents remember their child is in the back seat.
“Set an alarm or just sit something you need in the back seat next to your baby. Anything that can remind you that that baby is in there,” Harden shared.
Another reminder from Harden is for parents to lock their vehicles whether they are parked in the driveway or garage. Kids love to play games like hide and go seek and can inadvertently lock themselves in a vehicle which would be devastating in this heat.
For additional tips to keep children safe this summer, Safe Kids San Angelo is hosting a free ‘Summer Safety Event’ from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 at Goodfellow Recreation Camp, 1950 S. Concho Drive.
The event is designed to help inform and educate parents and caretakers on how to keep children safe while having fun this summer.