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How to keep children safe in the sun

July 21, 2016

Summer time; a time of year to top up on your Vitamin D and a time for a clean and tidy house as children’s games can move outdoors and therefore no mess indoors! However, playing in the sun can be dangerous if the right precautions are not put in place. So here is a quick guide to make sure you know how to keep your children and charges safe in the sun.

nanny agency london keeping safe in the sun

The most common health risks from heat are:

• heat stress (children may be irritable, uncomfortable and out of character- this can worsen if they are exposed to too much heat for too long)
• heat exhaustion
• heat stroke
• dehydration

This is because children cannot control their body temperature like adults as they do not sweat like adults. Also be aware that if your child takes medication or has a disability they may be more susceptible to high temperatures.

Heat exhaustion symptoms:

• fatigue
• dizziness
• headaches
• nausea/vomiting
• red, hot and itchy skin
• signs of becoming confused
Heat stroke symptoms:
• body temperature being exceedingly high (40*c or above)
• hot, red itchy skin and sweating that abruptly stops
• fast heartbeat
• fast shallow breathing
• lack of co-ordination and confusion
• uncontrollable fits
• becoming unconscious

Here are our top tips to keep every safe in the sun:

• make a conscious effort to keep moving your children out of the sun and into the coolest room in the house and make sure they stay hydrated all day (by drinking as much cold water as possible)
• If they do get too hot, make sure you cool them down as quickly as possible. Here are a few different ways you can do this: spray your child with cool water (25-30*c), or place cold packs or bags of ice on their wrists, neck and armpits. Finally cover them in a cool wet sheet and if possible fan them
• If after 30 minutes you see no change call 999 and ask for an ambulance

When playing outdoors

• There should be no intense or strenuous physical activity on extremely hot days (temperatures reaching or exceeding 30*c)
• Try and encourage children to play in the shade, or create activity spaces in the shade so that they do not want to venture out into the sunshine
• Keep clothes loose and light, try and stay away from dark coloured clothes as they absorb heat
• Make sure they are wearing sunscreen, with minimum factor of 15 (all children are different and need different factors for different reasons)
• Keep a constant flow of cold water around and encourage children to keep drinking, make sure bottles of water are not left in the sunshine

When playing indoors

• Open your windows as early as possible all round your house, even keep them open at night if it is safe to do so
• If the air outdoors becomes warmer than the air indoors during the day, you can almost completely close your windows as this will keep heat out but also keep the house ventilated
• Keep your blinds and curtains closed but make sure they still allow there to be ventilation
• Switch off all electrical equipment as leaving them on ‘standby’ or ‘sleep mode’ generates heat
• Try and keep children’s routines as normal as possible, if they need to nap but are struggling because of the heat, still try and put them down like normal. Make sure they are still eating their meals at the usual time and encourage them to drink plenty of water

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Here is a link to the UK governments guide for Ofsted registered childcare providers in schools and settings.

Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2016

Posted by Harmony at Home Head Office Team | Filed Under Expert Advice, Health and Nutrition 

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