Too much exposure to intense heat and the potential threats it poses to the health and safety of children

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Line drying of clothes under the scorching heat of the sun can be done in a matter of minutes, but the direct heat of the sun could fade their colors just as quickly.

Summertime is often considered by most people as the time to have fun, excitement, relaxation, outdoor activities, and sightseeing the beautiful sceneries of the countryside. But, although these things may have a positive impact to an individual, they carry risks as well. Most of these risks are heat-related when an individual is having too much exposure to intense heat.

It is during the hot weather days that we are sweating a lot. Well, that’s a good thing. Sweating is the human body’s way of cooling itself down. That’s why it’s advisable to drink more water and other fluids in order to replenish the water lost through sweating and to also prevent dehydration.

Heat-related illnesses usually surfaced during the hot weather days or summertime and the most vulnerable ones or people at the highest risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness or chronic diseases. Heat-illness could be categorized into these three:

  • Heat exhaustion. It is a heat-related illness often manifested with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and headache. To treat someone who is suffering from this condition is to immediately move him or her to a cool environment, fan the body and remove excess clothing, and placing ice over the groin and underarm areas.
  • Heat cramps. It would occur with mild dehydration and the depletion of salt in the blood. They’re usually felt in the legs, calves, and ankles. This condition could be relieved by stretching the muscles along with hydrating the body with drinks containing electrolytes solution.
  • Heat stroke. It is a medical emergency and considered as the most dangerous of the three. A person suffering from heat stroke manifests with symptoms like dry but hot skin, rapid pulse, and difficulty in breathing. It may also be accompanied by severe neurologic disturbances. Bring the victim to the nearest hospital immediately.

The most common to all heat-related illnesses is dehydration. Preventing it is a must. When a person is feeling thirsty, he’s already dehydrated by two to three percent.

So thirst is not the best indicator for dehydration. The best way to prevent dehydration is for a person to drink more water than usual during hot weather days involving active outdoor activities. Parents must encourage their children to drink as many as twelve glasses of water a day.

During the hot weather days, skin disorders are also common among children. This is due to the fact that, according to a Pediatric study, younger children’s skin has a higher pH, less fatty acid content, increased susceptibility to water loss and absorption, and thermal instability. Children are prone to skin disorders because, as what their skin’s natural physiologic features may be worsened by heat, they tend to scratch more and moisturize less.

Sunburn, miliaria, impetigo, and intertrigo are the most common of these heat-related skin disorders. When kids are being exposed to the scorching heat of the sun unprotected for very long hours, they got sunburns. Sunburns, by the way, are first degree burns due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

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Seven first aid tips for sea urchin and jellyfish stings

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Nathaniel kept himself busy scrutinizing something in the sand after having done swimming under the scorching heat of the sun, in a sea filled with jellyfish.

The last time we were at the beach my wife, including my nephew and niece, complained about being bitten by something while they were keeping themselves busy swimming in the sea. It was with luck that my three-year-old son who was also swimming in the sea with them during that time was spared from a jellyfish sting.

Looking upon the portion of my wife’s hand she said was stung by a sea creature she still has to find out what, I had in mind it was from a jellyfish thing. She said it felt like her hand was electrocuted by a tiny thing.

Having studied about jellyfish in the past, I instructed them to prepare for the first aid treatment I’m going to demonstrate myself. Jellyfish, by the way, is naturally a free-swimming, gelatinous, and non-aggressive marine animal surrounded by tentacles. There are more than two hundred types of jellyfish.

The tentacles in a jellyfish are covered with sacs called “nematocytes” and these are filled with poison that could cause a painful or even, in some cases, life-threatening sting. Jellyfish could be found anywhere in the world but the most venomous type are spread throughout the Indo-Pacific and Australian waters. So here are the seven first aid tips for sea urchin and jellyfish stings:

  • Douse the affected area with vinegar or, if no vinegar available, baking soda. You could also rinse the tentacles off with sea water. Avoid using fresh water, any form of alcohol, and methylated spirits in an attempt to deactivate tentacles as these would only cause a rapid massive discharge of jellyfish nematocytes.
  • Try using tweezers in removing any sea urchin spines or jellyfish tentacles. You could also try applying a shaving cream and gently scrape the affected area with a razor to remove jellyfish stings. Applying melted wax to the injury is also a best alternative. Just allow the wax to set then peel it off so that the tiny spines could be removed.
  • Once the tentacles are removed, you have to immerse the affected area for thirty to ninety minutes in water as hot as the victim could tolerate. You could repeat this procedure if necessary.
  • Try scrubbing the wound with soap and water. Flush extensively with fresh water afterwards.
  • Never ever use tapes or bandages to close the wound.
  • If ever signs of infection, like a pus, redness or heat occur, it is best to use topical antibiotic ointment and apply it to the wound.
  • Oral antibiotics could be recommended by a physician for infection.

How to beat the heat and enjoy the summer with your toddler

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Nathaniel took his t-shirt off due to intense heat.

Beating the heat is one way you and your toddler could best enjoy summer together. Summer is a time to have fun and create new memories and adventures. However, it’s also a time when you, as a parent, should be more careful and wary as there are still inevitable hazards leading to accidents or injuries, for example, that could result from being careless.

Sure, there are lots of wonderful things to experience during summer. But it also calls for clever ideas that could keep you and your toddler cool and safe throughout. The following tips should be considered in order to have a good, safe, full of fun, and memorable summer experience of your life with your toddler:

DON’T FORGET TO KEEP HIM AND YOU HYDRATED

The intense summer heat could rapidly reduce fluids in the body through excessive sweating. When your toddler is hyperactive, it means he could sweat a lot more than the normal ones do.

Loading up on thirst-quenching drinks rich in electrolytes is advisable. But consuming more natural fruit juices is ideally the best.

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Applying a sunblock lotion before going out into the sun.

DRESS HIM AND YOU FOR THE SEASON

Wear cotton, bright-colored clothes. It should be as light weight as possible. You could also make your toddler try the topless when it has to (it’s one way to keep the body release some excess heat.)

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Natnat held his cousin Andrea’s hands as they tried to wade into deep waters together.

PROTECT HIM FROM THE HARMFUL ULTRAVIOLET RAYS OF THE SUN

Use or apply sunblock or sunscreen before going out into the sun. It could either be a lotion or a cream. Make sure that it has at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 45 and reapply as needed. As for the eyes, wearing sunglasses is a must to protect the eyes from the damaging rays of the sun.

KEEP A FIRST AID KIT

Aside from food and water, don’t forget to always bring with you a first aid kit wherever you go. You could never tell, but toddlers could get cuts and scrapes so it’s better to prepare for the worst. You should keep with you a list of emergency numbers as well, just in case.

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Nathaniel was learning to ride the “salva vida.”

AVOID TOO MUCH SUN EXPOSURE BETWEEN 10AM TO 3PM

Sun exposure between 10 AM to 3PM is considered a danger zone. It could cause heat stroke to individuals with delicate health conditions. There is also a great risk for an individual to get skin cancer with too much sun exposure within this hour range.

Nineteen practical ways every parent must observe to ensure the safety of his or her toddler

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My toddler was playing under our watchful eyes.

As your baby grows to become a toddler, his or her needs for proper care and guidance by a parent also increase. This must be so in order for him or her to achieve optimum health, and also for personal safety purposes. But yet, no matter how careful you are as a parent, sometimes, accidents could happen.

These accidents, if too severe, may often lead to trauma in both the physical and emotional aspects of the child, or could even lead to death. That is why prevention is of the utmost importance and parents must be aware of this in the first place. The following are nineteen practical ways every parent must take into consideration to ensure the safety of his or her toddler:

  • Never ever leave your toddler alone without any trusted adults to take a close watch over or to supervise him or her
  • Never ever leave your toddler to bathe alone until he or she reaches six years of age
  • Let him or her sleep on his or her crib
  • Let him or her sleep in a prone position or on his side
  • Never ever toss him or her around
  • To protect your toddler’s very delicate, too sensitive skin, keep him out of direct sunlight. Nevertheless, you can still expose him to direct sunlight during after sunrise but for a very limited amount of time only.
  • Always keep kerosene, solvent, medicines, and pesticides away from him or her.
  • Always keep lighted candles, matches, lighters, hot liquids, and other combustible materials away from him or her.
  • Always keep small, and sharp and pointed objects away from your toddler because these may suffocate him or her to death if swallowed and could also puncture or cut his or her flesh once mishandled.
  • Never ever smoke or allow someone to smoke near him or her. Remember that secondary smoking, according to a study, is more dangerous to you and your toddler’s health.
  • Always keep plastic bags away from your toddler as they may suffocate him or her.
  • Keep him away from electrical outlets and chords, electric flat irons, and water heater.
  • Don’t forget to install safety locks on cabinets, wooden cribs, and drawers.
  • Never leave water on a bucket, pail, or tub. Chances of getting drowned are very high especially for toddlers left alone playing on a tub, pail, or bucket containing water.
  • Never ever allow your toddler to get near a swimming pool, rivers, ponds, and beaches without any trusted adult to supervise him or her. Drowning incidents of toddlers left on their own without any adult supervision in these places are highest.
  • Make sure to install side guards on all of your beds.
  • Don’t forget to always put the seat belts on in him or her when in a car.
  • Never ever leave your toddler alone inside a vehicle. There are many cases of toddler deaths left inside a vehicle (especially an air-tight close one) due to dehydration and suffocation. When you really need to leave him or her inside a vehicle make sure that the air conditioner is on and that you’ll be back right away in a minute or two.
  • Never allow him or her to play on street. Remember that a street is not a playground for kids, but you can take him or her to the park or any vacant lot safety enough for toddlers to play on.