With the hot and humid Chicago summer we have been having these past few weeks, it is important to be mindful of how well your children’s bodies can handle the heat. Children are still playing outdoor sports and finishing up their leagues before school starts, and some camps may still be in session. Many older children have already begun practice for fall sports. When your children are spending hours outdoors during the day, keep in mind these safety tips:
Safety Tips for Sports And Activities in the Heat
- Drink plenty of fluids at least an hour before vigorous physical activity, as well as during and after the activity. Drinking too much water right before the activity may cause muscle cramps. Drinking very cold beverages may also cause cramps, so let the drink sit out for a few minutes after taking it out from the refrigerator.
- Sports beverages are great, as they can help replace the salts and minerals lost when sweating.
- Allow children to pace themselves with physical activities. Start out slowly and pick up the pace gradually so as to avoid muscle cramps. Avoid overexertion.
- Be weary of signs of heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and paleness).
- If possible, stay inside in the midday when the sun is the hottest and strongest, and try to schedule sports activities in the mornings and evenings.
- Stay in the cool shade as much as possible when outside.
- Wear sunscreen.
Play outside safely, and have fun!