Summer safety: From the heat to the pool, take steps to have fun and stay safe

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The summer heat makes an early stop in the Kansas City metro, putting anyone who either works or plays outside in danger.

Experts say although many offer tips like taking frequent breaks or heading to a swimming pool to cool off, it’s not that simple.

DEALING WITH THE HEAT

HYDRATE

  • Those working outdoors need to drink more than they think they needed, and make sure to drink something with electrolytes.
  • For children, 9-12 year olds need to drink 3-8 ounces every 20 minutes. That increases up to 1-1.5 liters for teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

ACTIVITIES

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests rescheduling or reducing the intensity of activities lasting more than 15 minutes when the heat and humidity is high.
  • Allow an adequate rest and recovery period, two hours or more, between activities.
  • For babies under 6 months, the AAP recommends avoiding sun exposure altogether.

SYMPTOMS OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

HEAT STROKE

  • Hot, red, dry skin
  • Agitation
  • Unexplained behavior changes
  • Loss of consciousness

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms, or witness someone who is.

WATER SAFETY

AVOID INJURIES

  • You can suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke, even while you’re in the water or a swimming pool.
  • Stop before you’re exhausted. Experts and athletes say people don’t often realize how exhausted they are until after they’re out of the water.
  • Obey pool rules. One of the most common injuries at the swimming pool is because people are running or roughhousing. Lifeguards say if you follow the rules, you’re less likely to be injured.
  • If you’re on a boat, make sure there are enough life vests for everyone on board, even if everyone can swim.

SUNSCREEN

Nearly everyone knows how painful a sunburn can be, and water doesn’t protect your skin from burning.

Dermatologists say to apply sunscreen before swimming, and at least every two hours while in the sun. The water temperature will make you less aware that you’re burning, even if you are.

OTHER DANGERS

Toxic algae and bacteria can also be problematic when lake water begins to warm. To avoid bacteria, make sure you don’t swallow water while swimming. Toxic algae is more difficult to avoid, and experts say people and pets need to stay out of any water with excessive algae blooms.

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