Its about to get hot-hot-hot in Adelaide and mix in activities in the silly season we can easily forget some pretty crucial symptoms and preventions to keep us chilled like cucumbers and not roasted capsicums!.

When the tempreture reaches over 35 c your body may not be able to cool you down fast enough before your health is effected. Heat related illnesses are serious! Dehydration, Heat stroke, Heat exhaustion, Heat cramps and Heat rash can occur quickly. This can be prevented at times with planning and preventive measures.

How can the effects of heat in children be avoided?

Stay hydrated…

SA Health have reported it is important that people drink enough fluids during hot weather, even if they are not feeling thirsty…when they ask for water its too late in hot conditions! Make sure they are drinking regularly and consume additional fluids after thirst is quenched.

A good way to find out if someone is dehydrated is by checking their urine colour. If the urine is pale, they are drinking enough if not they need to up their water intake immediately.

Restrict outdoor play and stay indoors…

If your in need of some activities to entertain the kids – think indoor air conditioning! When temperatures are high and the kids are bored head to some of Adelaide’s great indoor activity options like the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Cinema or a Museum! Sometimes its best to skip the playground and beach and keep cool with air conditioning indoors. If at home keep blinds, curtains and windows closed to keep cool.

Hot Cars…

If you do not need to be out and about doing errands then don’t! A temperature of a car can rise quickly and can heat up fast. In and out the car can add to heat stress especially in little babies. It goes without saying that leaving children and animals in hot cars is not legal and can result in death as a child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult. Make sure you plan ahead with groceries and or essentials so you do not have to go out.

If you witness children or animals in cars on hot days call 000 immediately and act with urgency to remove the child or animal yourself and ask nearby people to search with urgency for the driver and you stay with the child or animal.

Dress appropriately

Dress your child in a single layer of light-coloured, loose-fitted breathable clothing (less sun absorption from the bright colours and the loose fit enables your child to sweat (it’s the body’s natural way to let off extra heat). And please do not forget to protect your and your children’s skin: ALWAYS USE SUNSCREEN

Less is more…

Avoid using baby carriers or slings as they restrict air flow and will over heat same for as a pram and cot – no bulky blankets or bulky materials that would cause overheating.

Food Safety

SA Health has also stressed the importance of food safety especially in hot weather and extreme heat. Bacteria grows more fast on food in hot conditions so take these tips for decreasing the risks of food poisoning.

  1. Make sure your fridge is clean, un-cluttered and set at 5c or less
  2. Do not leave food out of the fridge for more than two hours
  3. Leftovers two – three days maximum
  4. Defrost foods in the fridge or microwave not on the kitchen bench.

If despite your best efforts, the summer heat still gets the best of your children, it’s important to recognize signs of heat exhaustion:

•Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
•Nausea, vomiting
•Muscle cramps
•Cool-clammy skin

If your child is exhibiting any of these signs of heat-illness, cool them off as quickly as possible… remove them from their activity, bring them into the shade or indoor air conditioning; remove layers of clothes; let them sit/play in a kiddy pool filled with cool water/ice; apply cold/ice towels to the neck, armpits and groin—these areas have large blood vessels and can help cool the body off more quickly. Call 000 for emergency always , 13 sick or Family Doctors on 1300 695 628 for over the phone advice and non emergencies.