RVA Parenting: Tips for staying safe in the sun - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RVA Parenting: Tips for staying safe in the sun

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

As the heat ramps up, so do concerns about sun and heat safety.We spoke to the doctors at KidMed about what your family needs to know to stay safe from sunscreen to heat stroke.

Any sunburn is bad at any time of year. It can expose you to far bigger risks down the road. So, let's keep it simple: always make sure your kids are wearing sunscreen or sunproof clothing. Apply sunscreen regularly and put it everywhere.

“There is a very simple rule,” said Dr. Mark Flanzenbaum from KidMed when we asked him how to choose a good sunscreen. “The general rule is anything above an SPF of 15 is fine. Most of it, when you start getting into the 50s, 60s and 70s – whatever those are -- most of that is advertising. It doesn’t make a huge difference. Fifteen and above is an appropriate sunscreen.”

And remember, the sunscreen has to be applied multiple times a day, especially after being in the pool or the water.

From a hydration standpoint, the doctors over at KidMed say when kids are going outside, parents need to make sure that they grab a drink at least every half-hour to hour.

“When it comes to heat-related illnesses and hydration, they go hand in hand,” pointed out Dr. Flanzenbaum. “What we have to remember is that kids have to be acclimated slowly to it. So, when they start playing outside- they’re not going to go from being indoors in the winter to all the sudden playing for six hours outside. It’s gotta be a slow thing.”

It doesn’t really matter whether you give them water or a sports drink, just make sure they are drinking.

“But, when the kids start getting very tired, when they are sweating excessively, time for them to go inside, take a break, cool down or at least find a shaded area,” explained Rosenbaum.

“When parents need to start getting worried is when the kids are showing signs of really heat exhaustion,” said Flanzenbaum.

When the kids start getting very tired, when they are sweating excessively-- the experts say it's time for them to go inside, take a break, cool down or at least find a shaded area. And pay especially close attention to the signs on humid days.

"And the more humid it is, the less effective sweating is at cooling the body,” explained Flanzenbaum. “So, on days where there's a high heat index, where there is a lot of humidity in addition to the heat. Those are the especially worrisome days. The days you overheated because they really can't cool their bodies normally."

If your child looks confused, dazed -- anything like that -- and if the temperature of the body is going up, and the child has stopped sweating that's when things get scary. Don't mess around- see a medical professional right away.

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