High heat means extra care for youngsters

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Kara Ebersole spent time Monday with her three children – Autumn, Noah and Annabelle – letting them play, but knowing when the high temps become too much.

"My kids usually slow down and come and sit next to me and it's usually pretty obvious when it's hot," she said to WEAU 13 News. “I'm not overly concerned about my small children in this hot weather.”

However, that's not always the case.

"I think people are not necessarily aware of all of the signs, but they also don't realize that it can come on quickly,” Patricia Reis, public health nurse with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said to WEAU 13 News on Monday. “You just get involved in life and they're outside and playing. You know it's warm, but they don't realize how quick it can come."

This may be the most brutal week of this summer – especially Thursday, with temps in the Eau Claire area reaching the mid-90s and a heat index shooting into the triple digits. That means everyone – especially the youngest ones – will need to have proper care from the heat.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department recommends children between 1 to 3 years old have to have four cups of water a day. From 4 to 8 years old, that number goes to five.

Along with what will go into a kid's body, parents should be aware of what is outside their body.

"They need to make sure that they're dress appropriately,” Paul Horvath, doctor of emergency medicine at Mayo Clinic Heath System said to WEAU 13 News on Monday. “They need to make sure they're taking breaks and sitting down and drinking and cooling down in the midst of their playing."

Dr. Horvath says his team is ready for this week's planned opressive heat - as they will have thier fluids fully stocked as well as adequate staff on-hand.

With the high temps, Kara Ebersole said one group she worries about is young athletes.

“The kids that are playing on competitive sports teams and who are used to "pushing through the pain" are the kids I am concerned about,” she said. “Infants and the elderly are at particular risk for heat stroke, but these populations will likely be limiting their time outdoors and taking precautions in the hot weather.

“There is an extra risk to kids that are attempting to continue their competitive level of play in excessive heat. To them I would like to say, listen to your bodies. It's OK to take a break.”

Kara’s daughter Autumn agrees with taking a break – and is actually hoping to combine her playing with cooling down later this week.

What will she do?

"Go swimming in the pool," Autumn answers.