Surviving summer’s high heat safely

heat-wave

By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

We asked for it, it’s not just warmer here in Germany, it’s getting hot!

Now that kids are out of school for the summer, it’s probably a good time to remind them how to make it through the day outside, or without an air-conditioned home in Germany.

The long days of the summer months in Alaska bring families together for outdoor activities. “It is important to take a moment and plan their summer activities with the heat in mind. There are a lot of things you can do to mitigate heat risks, but it all starts with hydration,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Wes Wright, 673d Air Base Wing Staff Agency safety representative. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera)

The long days of the summer months in Alaska bring families together for outdoor activities. “It is important to take a moment and plan their summer activities with the heat in mind. There are a lot of things you can do to mitigate heat risks, but it all starts with hydration,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Wes Wright, 673d Air Base Wing Staff Agency safety representative. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera)

Surviving High Heat:

It’s finally summer which means parades and outdoor time for the family – and the heat that comes with it. Here are some things to know when getting your kids ready to spend the day in the sun:

  • Dress for the heat – wear breathable fabrics, like cotton, as well as hats and sunglasses that can protect your face and eyes from harmful rays.
  • Hydrate! Always make sure your kids have lots of water. Many drinks like sodas and powdered drink mixes are full of sugar, which can actually dehydrate you more, so the key is water. Make sure they have plenty!
  • Watch for heat advisories and try not to plan outdoor activities around the hottest parts of the  day. Find shade when you can.
  • This one is pretty obvious, but it always needs to be said: NEVER leave your children unattended in a car. Heat can kill very quickly. The most tragic cases are almost always accidents, so try to put something in your front seat or dashboard that reminds you that your child is in the car with you – a teddy bear, a pacifier or even a “baby on board” sticker. That way, if you’re rushing around running errands, you have a reminder that they’re in there with you, too.
  • If you’re kids are excessively sweating, seem weak, dizzy, have clammy skin, muscle cramps, get nauseous or faint, they might have heat exhaustion. Get them into a cool area and, if needed, get the help of a doctor.
  • Sunscreen: Ultraviolet rays can damage skin within 15 minutes, so make sure you put a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher on your children about 10-15 minutes before they go outside so it has time to properly soak in.  Reapply it often, especially if your kids are swimming, sweating or toweling off. Sunscreens have a shelf life, so throw them away if they’re more than a year or two old. Make sure to use cosmetics and lip balms that have an SPF, too.

Learn all about how UV rays affect your skin and what’s in sunscreens to combat them here. You can also learn more about treating bad sunburn and skin cancer here.

Read more about staying cool without AC in Germany, here.