Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heat Safety & Hydration: Morning & Afternoon Highlights

Heat Advisory:
The heat wave has officially begun.  We've already broken 1,011 records across the country this week.  This total includes 251 new high temperature records on Tuesday alone.  We have a heat advisory today.  This morning we mentioned that even if it were only 80° outside it would be 123° inside a car within an hours time; the National Weather Service said that even after just 10 minutes that same car would already be 99°!  It's going to be much hotter outside today with the high at 103°.  So this morning Jim and I gave some tips on heat safety.  I also gave a few more tips on hydration this afternoon while covering for Ceci.  Here's the full list of things we mentioned today.

Summer Heat Safety Tips:
Here are some great tips from the National Weather Service & a few others:

  • Make sure your child's safety seat and safety belt buckles aren't too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks--even at home, and keep keys out of children's reach.
  • Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don't leave sleeping infants in the car ever!
  • Slow down: Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Eat Light Meals: Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water and decaffeinated fluids: Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink or limit caffeinated beverages.
  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places: Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
  • Don't get too much sun: Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.
  • Limit Salt In-take: Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
  • Water Bottle Essentials:  Teach kids to think of a water bottle as part of their essential sports gear. Just as you wouldn’t go to hockey practice without skates or a stick, kids shouldn’t go to practice or a game without water.
  • Set out an insulated cooler of ice water:  Keep a two-gallon cooler with dispensing spout full of fresh ice or cold water.  Easy access and the visual reminder will help you and your kids drink more while outdoors.
  • Count Down:  Have kids count to eight while taking eight big swallows of water. Counting makes hydrating a game and helps make sure kids are getting enough water when they stop to drink. For small children, eight big gulps of water are equal to between 4 and 8 oz of water!

Frozen Watermelon "Pops"
Fun Ways to Keep Kids Hydrated:
Hydration is especially important this Summer as we've already had record breaking temperatures across the country.  Kids (and sometimes adults) don't always choose water over sugary or caffeinated drinks, so here are some fun ways to make sure we all stay hydrated during the Summer Heat.

First, here are some nerdy girl facts for parents to keep in mind this summer.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids drink an average of 6 glasses of water a day, but during activity and in the heat kids should be drinking 5oz of water or sports drinks every 20 minutes. (Article)

Signs of Dehydration: Early signs of dehydration in children are fatigue and irritability.  If your child seems to be much less energetic or is crabby, it’s time to get him out of the heat for a water break.  Other symptoms may be sunken eyes, dry mucous membranes, decrease in urination, headaches, nausea and clammy skin.

Fun Food/Drink Ideas for Keeping Kids Hydrated:

  • Fruits and veggies:  A lot of produce contains 70-95% water.  Try partially freezing fruits like: watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, oranges, peaches, pineapple, kiwi, pomegranates, and grapes!  Or serve up healthy snacks like: carrots, cucumbers, and celery.  Another good veggie packed with water is lettuce; sneak it in as often as you can.
  • Freeze cups of applesauce for an slushy summer treat.
  • Yogurt: contains up to 80% water.  It's great plain or with fresh fruit.  Try blending some frozen berries with plain yogurt for ten seconds for a sorbet or pour the mixture in a Popsicle mold for a delicious frozen treat.
  • Other good foods are: Oatmeal, beans, couscous, & pasta:  These foods absorb more than 50% of their weight in water as they cook.  
  • Popsicles/Frozen Fruit bars:  using 100% fruit bars or low sugar are a better alternative.  Try making your own.  Puree watermelon, mix with all natural white grape juice, and freeze
  • Milk:  Don't forget about milk.  It provides protein,Vitamin D and calcium, and can hydrate without saturated fats.
  • Fruit Infused Water:  Water is always your best hydration option.  Try flavoring it with fruit slices or ice cubes made with frozen fruit juice to make it more interesting.
  • Make vitamin popsicles: Dissolve Emergen'C (a powdered vitamin beverage) in water and freeze this too. Emergen'C is great for warding off colds and healing infections. Kids love frozen treats and adding Emergen'C packet to homemade Popsicles is a good way to make sure they get their vitamins.


Fruity Water:
Here are some tips and combination ideas for naturally flavoring your water with fruit.  Water will always be your best option in staying hydrated, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.  

Here's what you need:
Fruit: Any kind except bananas.  Make sure the fruit is really ripe for maximum sweetness and flavor.  It doesn't matter if fresh or frozen.
Herbs: (Optional) Some herbs complement fruit.  I have a few ideas below.

Jars/Pitchers: 2 quart mason jars work well.
Fruit Infusion Pitcher: Any pitcher will do.  This will be for mixing the ingredients.
Wooden Spoon or Muddler: for Mashing Fruit/Herbs
Water: Purified or Filtered water, or whatever you enjoy.

If you want some step by step instructions for some great Fruit Infused Water: Visit the YummyLife Blog

Here's Some Flavor Combination Ideas from YummyLife Blog:
Citrus: Choose from Oranges, Tangerines, Lemons or Limes
Raspberry with Lime 
Cherry and Lime
Pineapple (Feeling brave: add Mint)
Watermelon (Optional: Add Rosemary)
Blackberry (Try it alone or pair it with Sage)
Blueberries and Orange

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