It’s hot, the days are long, and summer is in full swing! There’s nothing quite like spending time outside on a nice day watching the kids having fun for hours. But don’t forget to be prepared for unfortunate scenarios—sunburns, heat exhaustion, and allergic reactions are easy to come by this time of year. Here’s some tips to keep those kids safe and happy through these hot summer days.
Prepare. Remind parents you’ve planned outside activities that day, and have them send their kids in with sunscreen, hats, and water bottles. Refresh yourself on which kids have allergies, both to things as common as grass or as unlucky as a bee sting (see how to keep track of that in Procare here); know which kids you’re allowed to give medicines like antihistamines or children’s tylenol; and make sure your and your staff’s first aid and CPR certifications are up to date.
Recognize the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and different allergic reactions. Dehydration tends to show in kids through irritability and/or drowsiness, dry mouth, and sunken eyes. Heat exhaustion manifests with similar symptoms, as well as muscle cramps, extreme thirst, and a fever. However, it can progress to heat stroke if untreated, with increasingly worse symptoms such as a fever higher than 105°F, severe headache, confusion, and even seizures or fainting. Allergic reactions are characterized by rashes, cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or eyes and sneezing, and asthma.
Finally, know how to respond. In the case of heat exhaustion, take the child indoors and give them plenty of water; if it’s already turned into heat stroke, seek emergency medical attention immediately. For allergies, have oral antihistamines on hand, and know how to treat a bee sting or wasp bite. And keep a first aid kit nearby to quickly respond to anything from scraped knees to heat-induced fevers—keep it stocked with band aids, antibacterial soap, a thermometer, hydrocortisone cream, and anything else you might need to properly respond to all situations.
Stay safe this summer—and keep having fun!