South Carolina summers are notoriously hot, making heat-related illness an unfortunate and all too common occurrence. As a Columbia, SC attorney for injured kids, I find it important not only to help those who have suffered harm, but to educate the community in hopes of avoiding future incidents. This article covers a few things you should know before sending your kids to day care in the summer.
Dangers of Heat Related Illnesses and Children in SC
Kids are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses than adults. Three types of heat-related illness are:
- Heat cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
Heat cramps are the most minor form of heat illness. Symptoms include mild fever, muscle cramps, and spasms. For treatment, move your child to a cool place. Remove excess clothing and place cool cloths on skin. Stretch cramped muscles slowly and gently. Then give your child a cool sports drink that contains salt and sugar, such as Gatorade.
Heat exhaustion is a more severe illness. It results from extreme heat and excessive sweating. Some symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and weakness. If your child is showing these symptoms, follow the treatment steps mentioned above. If there is no improvement, take your child to the emergency room immediately.
Heat stroke is the most severe among these heat-related illnesses. Symptoms include a high fever, rapid heart rate, vomiting, seizures, confusion, loss of appetite, and fatigue. If your child is showing these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. In the meantime, place ice bags on the armpits and groin areas, and provide cool fluids if your child is alert and able to drink.
Safety Precautions to Help Prevent Heat Illnesses
To help your child avoid heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat strokes at day care in South Carolina, it is important to make sure your day care is following summer safety precautions. Here are a few safety tips from a child care website:
- Dress your child in lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing;
- Protect your child from the sun by applying sunscreen;
- Give your child plenty of fluids (water or sports drinks) on hot days. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine (tea or soda);
- Never leave anyone in a close, parked vehicle, even if the windows are open;
- Know the signs of heat-illness and what to do when it occurs
I hope this information benefits you and your family. I am here to answer your questions and seek justice. If you want more information, or would like to discuss the ways your child's day care could have prevented heat stroke or exhaustion, I would be honored to speak with you. Call my Columbia, SC office today at 803-790-2800 for a free consultation.