Tips to Beat the Heat

How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

By Sarah Boucher, Publisher Macaroni Kid Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Muskegon July 9, 2020

It's summer time, and my kids love to be outside!  On the weekends, when the whole family is home, we are often outside the entire day. Lately we have experienced \high temperatures, sunny days, and lots of physical activity. My youngest had a slight episode of heat exhaustion, and it was a wake up call to me to be more vigilant and diligent about taking steps to make sure my kids stay safe, healthy, and hydrated.

The Mayo Clinic explains heat exhaustion is "a condition whose symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating. Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures, particularly when combined with high humidity, and strenuous physical activity."

We had the perfect storm of conditions, and all of a sudden my youngest said he didn't feel well, his heart was racing, he was sweating, he had a headache, and he said his stomach hurt. Thankfully we caught it in time and were able to take steps at home to safely cool him down and get him feeling better relatively quickly.

Here are some tips to prevent heat exhaustion:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing to allow your body to cool 
  • Apply sunscreen - sunburn can increase your risk for heat exhaustion as sunburn impedes your body's ability to cool itself
  • Stay hydrated 
  • If you're outdoors for a prolonged period of time, take frequent breaks from physical activity, and rest in the shade when possible

If you experience heat exhaustion:

  • Rest in a cool place
  • Drink water or sports drinks to re-hydrate
  • Take a cool shower or put towels soaked in cool water on your skin
  • Loosen or remove any tight clothing

If you don't begin to feel better within one hour of using these treatment measures, seek prompt medical attention.  For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic site.