Preparing for Extreme Heat - post

Preparing for Extreme Heat

image in article Preparing for Extreme HeatPreparing for Extreme Heat

For some childcare providers preparing for #extreme_heat is a necessity. With temperatures in some areas around the country in the 100s and areas with high humidity, it feels even hotter, it is critical to be prepared for these types of extreme temperatures.

Normally children’s bodies can regulate their temperature and cool them down through sweating and by heat radiating through the skin.

But in very hot weather and high humidity, this natural cooling system may begin to fail, letting heat in the body build to dangerous levels. This can cause heat illness, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke.

Children are at risk for heat cramps when they aren't drinking enough fluids.  Although painful, heat cramps on their own aren't serious. But cramps can be the first sign of a more serious heat-related illness.

Heat exhaustion is a more severe heat-related illness. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can develop into heatstroke, which can be fatal.

On hot days, frequent water breaks should be provided for children and staff, and shorter periods of play outdoors are recommended. Always keep track of the heat index. The heat index changes as the day progress. A heat index in the morning, for instance, may increase to a more dangerous level later in the day. Therefore, restrictions that would apply to a morning activity may be different than those in the afternoon or evening.

A high heat index should prompt you to stay inside with children and participate in low-exertion activities.

Extreme heat can be dangerous for children, so childcare providers need to take steps to prepare for it.

Here are some tips:

  • Stay in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible. If your childcare facility does not have air conditioning, find a cool place to go, such as a library, museum, or shopping mall.
  • Limit outdoor activities. If you do go outside, make sure to stay in the shade and avoid strenuous activity.
  • Keep children hydrated. Offer children plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate children even further.
  • Check children for signs of heat-related illness. These signs include:
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Pale skin
    • Rapid breathing
    • Hot, dry skin
    • Fainting

If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Plan ahead:

  • Have a plan in place in case of power outages. This could include moving children to a cool, shaded location or providing them with cooling devices such as fans or ice packs.
  • Educate staff and families about the dangers of extreme heat. Make sure everyone knows the signs of heat-related illness and what to do if they see them.

By following these tips, you can help keep children safe during extreme heat.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Understanding important #health_and_safety topics is a requirement for all childcare providers. Make sure you are up to date with all safety guidelines. Register today for one of ChildCareEd's health and safety training courses.

Courses & Classes related to Alabama

Online Trainings

In-person/blended trainings

Need help? Call us at 1(833)283-2241 (2TEACH1)
Call us