FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUSTIN, Calif., August 16, 2023 –The back-to-school season is just around the corner amid record-breaking heat. As many parents are preparing to send their children back to school, nonprofit community health center Families Together of Orange County is also gearing up for the back-to-school season. Given the unusual heat, experts at Families Together have compiled a set of recommendations for parents on how to help their children handle the effects of high temperatures.
As the school season begins, it’s important to recognize that young children’s exuberance can sometimes lead to overexertion when playing sports or spending time outside with friends. But there are steps they can take to ensure they’re staying safe in the heat. Firstly, if the child has been relatively inactive during the summer months, it’s best for them to ease back into regular physical activity, take breaks, and wear loose-fitting clothing.
In temperatures exceeding 80 degrees, children engaging in physical activity should pay close attention to their bodies for signs of heat impact, like flushed faces or slowed movement. In these conditions, children should slow down or pause their activities. Regular and consistent rehydration is also advised; taking a water break every 15-20 minutes helps maintain hydration and coolness.
Beyond 90 degrees, heightened vigilance is necessary. Breaks should be taken every 30 minutes, with frequent water intake. Children should avoid dehydrating caffeinated beverages like soda, iced coffee, or energy drinks.
While the above advice is generally helpful, it’s vital to note that every child will have their own unique conditions. Medical issues such as asthma make children more susceptible to the heat, and medications such as antihistamines and stimulants that treat ADHD may cause dehydration. Families Together cautions all parents to prepare for their children’s individual needs.
It’s also important to note that children should never be the only ones looking out for their own safety at school. Parents could also check in with teachers to inquire whether a heat plan is in place and whether children will have access to water fountains and air-conditioned spaces during lunch breaks and physical education classes. Anyone who is experiencing heat-related symptoms of illness should seek immediate medical help if attempts to cool off, such as drinking water or moving to an air-conditioned space, do not alleviate symptoms within half an hour.
Families Together hopes that this advice is helpful to all parents as they prepare to send their children back-to-school. The organization is also preparing for the back-to-school season by offering back-to-school physicals and vaccines to young patients. Those who wish to make an appointment may call 1(800) 597-7977 or visit the Families Together website to request an appointment. More information regarding Families Together’s medical services can be found here.
About Families Together of Orange County
Since 2003, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC) has proudly served the Orange County community with a myriad of health services while providing a welcoming, multi-lingual and patient -centered medical home to all. FTOC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, FQHC look-alike, a member of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the CPCA.
Please visit www.facebook.com/FamiliesTogetherOC for more information on Families Together of Orange County and for the latest updates.