Boys, put your hats on!

The boys are in a great summer program that keeps them busy with a variety of activities. Every Tuesday is beach day. Today they hopped on the Metro Transit and headed to Chocolate Lake.

Much to ET’s dismay, this is not Halifax’s Chocolate lake.

Image: Making Fiends

Image: Making Fiends

It was a great day for them to be at the beach because it was another scorcher and, as always in Nova Scotia, it was a humid heat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining — our summer is far too short to waste a moment complaining about the weather.

Every year, these hot days seem to catch me by surprise. We will be in the doldrums of a rainy spring and then POW it’s summer. Maybe it’s because we don’t get eased into the heat that it is such a shock to the system.

On days like today, I worry about my kids.

Last week on beach day, I picked them up to discover that ET had only drunk a quarter of his water. It was his first beach outing with the group and he had just been having too much fun to stop and take breaks. I needed a drink after the lecture I gave him!

Also on Tuesdays, after a day spent at the hot beach, it’s soccer evening. We have a quick picnic and then it’s right onto the field for practice — the day is still really hot.

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I spend a lot of time on the sidelines looking for signs of heat exhaustion.

When I was working as a tennis umpire, I saw a lot of heat illness. Players would cramp and vomit, ball kids would crumple into a heap and I even had to call the medics a few times for a spectator in the stands. The heat sneaks up on you, and it’s even faster for kids.

It’s hard to believe sometimes to look at them, but kids sweat less than adults. This means they have less ability to get rid of heat by evaporation. And, most importantly, they’re stupid. They don’t have enough common sense to know that a hot day would be better spend lying in the shade with book and a glass of cold lemonade.

Just a friendly reminder to keep a close eye on your kids. Remind them to drink water every 15 minutes even if they aren’t thirsty. Encourage them to take breaks in the shade and to douse themselves with water. And, as I ALWAYS seem to be saying, put those hats on!

If your child is hot but stops sweating, is confused, vomits, has a severe headache or difficulty breathing it may be heat stoke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. Try to cool them down and get immediate medical care.

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6 responses to “Boys, put your hats on!

  1. Ha ha! I remember my first visit to Chocolate Lake! Was so disappointed. I still get my hopes up every time I think about going there, then quickly repeat the cycle of disappointment as I realize that it is not really chocolate. Sigh…
    Great advice yet again!

  2. I’m glad I did not live anywhere where it got over 80 on consecutive days. I would have been a dead child.

  3. Great advice! I keep pushing the fluids, myself and giving the constant lecture about keeping a hat on. I’m totally neurotic about heat – I was awake all night the night before last because the house was so hot – I kept envisioning JW’s little insides baking while he slept! I kept checking on him to make sure he was OK! 🙂

    • Aren’t they cute though – in the middle of a hot sweaty night? All gangly limbs and tighty whities…
      BTW – I always use J as the role model when CJ doesn’t want to wear his hat. “Look, J’s wearing his hat – now PUT IT ON!”

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