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Published on July 01, 2014

Avoiding Heat Stress in Exercising Children

July 1, 2014

07.01.14 - Avoiding Heat Stress in Exercising ChildrenChildren are often involved in summer sports activities. During the hot summer months, care should be taken to avoid heat stress in exercising children.

 Follow these tips provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimatize to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.

For more summer safety tips, visit the Health & Wellness section of our website.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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