Stay Sun Safe This Summer
Safety & Awareness | July 16, 2020
By Carly Hermes, RN, BSN, Safe Kids Fox Valley Coordinator
As the days get longer and hotter, Safe Kids Fox Valley wants everyone to be protected from the sun and its heat!
Hard Facts about Heatstroke
Safe Kids Worldwide would like to share some helpful information and tips for parents about heatstroke prevention for kids.
On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking a window does NOT help.
Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
Signs of Heatstroke
- Chest Pains
- Shortness of Breath
- Overheated But Unable to Sweat
Immediately seek medical attention or call 911 if you notice any of these signs.
Also, be aware of heat exhaustion signs:
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Muscle Cramps
If any of these signs are noticed, cool off by seeking shelter in the shade or in an air conditioned building. In addition, begin to slowly drink water.
Top Tips for Preventing Heatstroke
Safe Kids Worldwide would like to help you reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
A – Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
C – Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. You can also place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
T – 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
The Sun’s Ultraviolet rays could damage skin in 15 minutes. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these rays may also weaken your immune system, cause eye problems, or cause skin spots, wrinkles or “leathery” skin. Any skin color can burn, but some are at more risk. People with pale skin, and those who have had skin cancer or have a family member who has had skin cancer need to be especially careful. People with blond, red, or light brown hair should also take extra precaution.
Protect your skin with these simple tips:
- Limit exposure to sun between 10am and 2pm.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, and a wide brimmed hat to cover as much of your body as possible.
- Use a sunscreen that is at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. The sunscreen should also be a broad spectrum and water resistant. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours.
- Wear sunglasses. Look for labels that offer 99-100% UV protection.