The CDC says air conditioning is the number one protective measure against heat-related illness. Shopping malls and other public facilities can be good places to spend time on high-heat days for families without air conditioning. In addition, many cities offer heat-relief shelters during extreme heat days. Local health departments will know their locations.
The CDC also recommends parents take these preventative steps for avoiding heat-related illnesses in children:
• Fluids – Provide plenty of fluids, preferably water, throughout the day.
• Outdoor time – Limit outdoor exposure, particularly during midday and in areas with concrete or asphalt surfaces.
• Shade – Remain in shaded areas when outdoors.
• Clothing – Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing, use sunscreen and shade their heads and faces with hats and umbrellas.
• Food – Avoid hot foods and heavy meals, since they add heat to your body.
It is especially important to remember children should never be left in a parked car even for a few minutes. Even when the windows are open an inch or two, temperatures inside the car can rise by almost 20 degrees within as little as 10 minutes.