How to protect children from the heat when they return to school

Orange County safety officials share tips for keeping kids safe returning to school during Florida heatwave.

“We need to look after ourselves, recognize the signs and symptoms, and get out of the heat before it’s too late,” said Orange County Fire and Rescue Captain Christian Radeon.

Radeon said keeping water bottles full is an important part of being safe in this heat, especially when it comes to outdoor extracurricular activities.

“It’s hard to catch up when we’re dehydrated,” Radeon said. “So just make sure our kids drink plenty of water at home and don’t drink – and continue to drink during the day at school and after school when they have classes.”

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He said it’s good for parents to teach their kids the importance of taking breaks when needed.

“Teach them to take care of themselves when they’re out and about, whether it’s sports, a band, cheerleading or whatever,” Radeon said. “If they start to feel unwell, they need to let the teacher or coach know so they can go inside and turn on the air conditioner.”

He said that if a student is participating in an outside activity, it is better to let the teacher or coach know that you are not feeling well sooner rather than later.

“It’s always better to be proactive than to faint on the pitch or call emergency medical help when we need to intervene,” Radeon said.

Radeon offers a couple of school items you might not have thought of right away, like a reusable water bottle or a cooling towel.

“Buy your child their own bottle of water, let them bring it to school so they can just drink continuously throughout the day,” Radeon said. “Cooling towels are good.”

Radeon said it’s also important to educate your children about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, which he says include seizures, excessive sweating, headaches and feeling nauseous.

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