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Heat Stress Tips for Exercising Children

Children need exercise to be healthy, so don't discourage them from getting outside and having fun when the sun is out. Just watch out for sign signs that they may be overheating. Particularly on a hot day, parents should make sure that their child plays safely.

Tips to keep children safe while they are exercising in warm weather:

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.

  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low, particularly if it is very humid. Then, it can gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat.

  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.

  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to allow evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.

  • Sports practices and games played in the heat should be shortened. In addition, there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated.

More information

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2018)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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