You’ve packed plenty of snacks and slathered on sunscreen, and you’ve covered all your bases in preparation for a thrilling summertime excursion with the little ones. One concern that may not cross your mind, however, is the risk for overheating. When it comes to your child’s health, ignorance is never bliss, so knowing what to look for is crucial. These are the nine signs your child is experiencing heat exhaustion, and what to do about it.
Dr. Sarah Combs, director of outreach and Emergency Medicine physician at Children’s National Hospital, offers a few precautions parents can take to avoid a dangerous, overheating situation altogether. “First, check the heat index, which factors in humidity as well as the overall temperature. Avoid exercising outdoors on days when it is particularly high,” says Combs in an interview with Romper. “On moderately hot days when you and your children are outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothes, and don’t forget sun hats and sunscreen. When playing outdoor sports, make sure your child takes frequent breaks for rest, cooling off, and hydration.”