How to protect children from heat exhaustion

Published On: Jul 18 2012 12:47:36 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 19 2012 06:59:26 AM CDT
HOUSTON -

Summer means hot temperatures.  With children playing outside, it is essential to protect them from heat exhaustion. 

Experts recommend taking advantage of water and shade.

Dr. Adiaha Franklin, a developmental specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, said the types of drinks and foods you pack can make a huge difference in keeping your child hydrated.

"You want to make sure your children stay hydrated. Lots of water, lots of fruits and vegetables contain water. Try to stay away from the salty snacks, which can add to dehydration," said Dr. Franklin.

Debbie Marley with the Center for Childhood Injury Prevention said it is more than just gulping down water.

"Water for the first hour is absolutely great, but then introduce sports drinks after that every 20 minutes if they are going to be out there longer," said Marley.

Also, if your child is sweating more than your others, it is time for a cool down, or just listen to what they are saying.

"When children are about 2 years old, they have enough vocabulary to say whether or not they are hot or whether or not they are thirsty or whether or not they are tired or they don't feel well at all," said Dr. Franklin.

An average person needs around 11 to 15 cups of water per day. A great way to get that is by eating your fluids.  Watermelons and cucumbers are some of the many types of foods that hydrate the body. Some others include apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, carrots, pineapples, oranges, lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, cantaloupe, natural applesauce, chicken soup and popsicles.