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What parents should look out for in young children during the heatwave

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 21:59:31-04

MAGIC VALLEY — As the heat continues to pose a threat for many, for children that threat may be even higher since they are not able to vocalize what they are feeling.

“One thing that we also warn about is if you have a young child. They often have a difficult time letting you know that they are getting too hot. Especially if that means that you’re going to have to shut down whatever they are doing that’s fun like if they are playing outside," Brianna Bodily with the South Central Publis Health District, said.

This is why health officials are advising parents to keep a closer eye on their children throughout these scorching hot temperatures, and they say there are signs to look out for.

“Flushing if one of them. If they have dried cracked lips, dried tongue, and just on the regular if you want to be very fastidious do the same thing. Wear soft loose clothing UV barrier protection, sunblock. Try to stay out of the direct sun as much as you can stay in the direct shade," Dr. Martha Taylor, Medical Director of Urgent Care for St. Luke’s Health System, said.

Keeping a child's body temperature down is also crucial component parents need to keep in mind.

“Giving them ways to cool down even as they play is really helpful, popsicles, putting some ice baths in their pools. Running the sprinklers so they can run through that, little things like that to keep your temperature lower before you ever get to that emergency situation," Bodily said.

They also advise wearing UV barrier clothing and putting sunblock on children. St. Luke's health officials say sun block is one of the most important thing for children since a lot of the children they see in the hospital during these times come in because of sun burns.

“Within 30 minutes to an hour, you can sustain a second degree thermal burn or a second degree sunburn and you’re talking blistering, you’re talking significant pain, you’re talking sometimes a low grade fever. It’s the same as if you were to drop hot oil on your skin," Taylor said.

To avoid these scenarios they also advise people to stay in shaded or air conditioned places between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.