10 ways you can keep your family safe in summer heat

ROANOKE, Va. – Step outside and you’ll most likely feel what a lot of people are feeling around the country: the heat.

The region will be dealing with the hottest temperatures of the season with temperatures in the 90s plus humidity.

Keven Ferguson and his two daughters still want to get outside but with the heat, they make sure to prepare.

“We’re wearing short sleeves, dresses, the works … putting on the sunscreen … packing big water jugs full of ice,” Ferguson said.

Dr. Christopher Pierce is the Chair of Pediatrics for Carilion. He says one of the issues with kids and heat is they are often oblivious to noticing any symptoms of heat exhaustion.

“If the kid’s not paying attention to the queues, we as the parent probably ought to be paying a little extra attention to what signs there might be,” Pierce said.

Carilion says they have seen an uptick in heat-related incidents in their emergency department.

“We’ll see kids that maybe passed out in the heat … luckily they tend to be relatively healthy so they bounce back. However, it’s still an issue,” Pierce said.

Here are some tips for you and your family to try and be safe during the heat wave:

  1. Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.
  2. Wear long sleeves to protect the skin from the sun. If long sleeves or pants get too hot, soak them in water. UV protective clothing is also available.
  3. Wear hats or scarves as well as UV sunglasses to shield your face from the sun.
  4. Wear sunscreen. Reapply every few hours, especially when swimming.
  5. Don’t overextend your time in the sun or heat. Seek shade or air conditioning whenever possible.
  6. Monitor the elderly or small children. Dinwiddie said they are the most susceptible to heat and often have the most trouble regulating their body temperature. Children should not be left in strollers for too long, especially if the stroller is black or another dark color that absorbs heat.
  7. If children refuse to drink enough water, offer popsicles or frozen slushies as an alternative to help replenish lost fluids.
  8. Drink plenty of fluids. In addition to water, drink fluids that contain electrolytes which helps prevent dehydration.
  9. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol speeds up the dehydration process.
  10. Always wear a life jacket when swimming in a pool, lake, river, or stream. Pool flotation devices are no substitution for a life vest.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.