Battling Alaska’s Summer Heat & Smoke

July 10, 2019

Alaska’s recent heatwave, including the growing number of statewide wildfires, have persisted in the past month. It’s important to know that heat and smoke
can cause children to become sick in several ways. thread encourages all parents and early childhood educators to take precautions
this summer when dealing with high temperatures and poor air quality.

High Temps

Everyone loves more sunlight and warmer temperatures, but it can also be dangerous, especially to young children. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps
and heat stroke are just some of the ways children are affected when temperatures rise.

Here are some helpful tips for protecting children from extreme heat, including ideas for safe and healthy play.

Smoky Conditions

Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from wildfire smoke than adults. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more
air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.

Here are some steps to take to decrease children’s risk of illness from wildfire smoke.

The Emergency Preparedness team at Child Care Aware® of America wants to make sure you and those you care for are safe during the hottest months. Click here for information on heat advisories, watches, and warnings, as well find some resources that you can use if you find
yourself stuck inside because of the higher temperatures.

Whether inside or out during warm weather, there are fun ways you and your children can engage in safe play:

  • Design fun colorful fans
  • Make ice tray juice pops
  • Freeze fresh fruit (bananas, pineapples, strawberry)
  • Add ice cubes to the water table
  • Turn on the sprinkler
  • Make ice bags or freeze wash cloths for foreheads necks and other warm body parts
  • Jump in the kiddie pool (closely supervised)
  • Play a game with water balloons (over 3 years old)
  • Set up a camping tent to read stories or quiet activities outside
  • Hold an outside toy wash with cool water

Here are additional resources that will help you make decisions regarding taking children outside: