Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Heat illness in kids

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 12:26:06-04

We've been seeing high temperatures here in Southwest Florida, and with the kiddos out for summer break and spending more time outside, it can lead to dehydration and heat illness quickly. A pediatrician said you should have your kids hydrate the night before a day in the sun.

“If you start your tank at halfway, as the day goes on, you’re going to come down," Dr. Richard So with Cleveland Clinic Children's said. "I want you to drink a bottle of water before you go to bed and another one before you start in the morning, so you start your day at a full tank. Then as you play and you get dehydrated, you can actually just stay up in higher levels."

High temperatures can cause heat illness, and the Southwest Florida humidity can drain the body fluids kids need to stay hydrated. If your kid seems tired, cranky or fatigued while outside playing, they may be dehydrated. Dr. So said have your child take a break, get in the shade and drink some water. He also said water is best for battling dehydration in kids, but sports drinks or even an ice cream cone or Popsicle can help cool them down from the inside out.

If your kids are having heat cramps, they’ll need electrolytes and salt, like potato chips or pickle juice, in addition to water. Dr. So said a real red flag is exhaustion and vomiting, which are dangerous signs of a heat stroke.

“When you see a kid that’s in the heat and they’re vomiting, that’s a tell-tale sign that that kid is in trouble, where, number one, the first thing you need to do is cool that kid down," Dr. So said.

He said you can do that quickly by spraying your child with a garden hose or taking them into the pool. If your child is having changes in consciousness, go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.