Local pediatrician Dr. Carlos Thomas advised parents Wednesday to pay close attention to their children’s activities and liquid intake over the summer months as scorching temperatures spike well into the 90s on a daily basis.
The heat index shot to 108 degrees in New Providence yesterday.
Dr. Thomas said his clinic has received a number of patients as a result of heat-induced abnormalities during the summer months.
“We have patients coming into the office in a stupor after having fainted in schools or at home or the playground,” Dr. Thomas said.
“It is very important that you try to minimize their exposure to the sun and extreme heat.”
He agitated for parents to ensure that their children stay well hydrated to avoid such occurrences.
“When you go outdoors you make sure that they do certain things such as keeping well hydrated. We want to ensure that children drink a lot because when you are hot your fluid requirement actually goes up so it is very important for them to keep drinking water,” he shared.
“For older kids; drink Gatorade and for younger kids; Pedialyte. Hydration is very very important.”
While hydration plays a huge role, Dr. Thomas also highlighted the importance of using sunscreen.
“Another important thing that we don’t think about often is sunscreen. So, if you have to be out in the sun sometime, even if you have dark skin, you should wear proper sun protection,” he said.
“It’s important for kids and adults because it helps to decrease the impact of the sun’s radiation on the skin.”
In recent years scorching temperatures, coupled with negligence, has led to the death of a number of children in the United States (U.S.).
While there have been no report e cases of these incidents in The Bahamas, Dr. Thomas still advised Bahamian parents to not leave their children unattended in vehicles, especially during scorching temperatures.
“Sometimes parents run out to the store and leave their kids in the vehicle, that’s a very bad idea because it gets very very hot in a closed vehicle within seconds or minutes,” he said.
“Fortunately we don’t have any kids dying in our jurisdiction, but if you listen to the news in Florida you hear quite often about parents forgetting children in cars so it is a very bad idea for us to even consider that practice here at home.”