So hot today, right? It wavers between too-hot-and-sunny or just-right-and-rainy. Since it's so unpredictable outside, join us inside on Tuesday morning for a Parent and Child Meetup at The Play Place in Elmsford. Come socialize with other parents while your kids enjoy the play structure, infant spot, and sports areas at The Play Place. Our event is from 9am to 11am, and if you arrive before 9:30 it's only $5. Siblings under twelve months are free with paid admission. Click here for more info.
Since it feels like summer, I'd like to share some info about hot weather and water safety that affects all parents.
THE SUMMER STROLLER MISTAKE
We all know not to leave kids in the car, even for an instant, but there's another risk out there that a lot of mothers practice. Stroller covers are great to protect little ones from the elements, but if you throw a muslin over the whole stroller in the heat, you create a mini sauna where baby is sitting. Parents magazine ran a story about researchers in Sweden who discovered that the temperature inside a stroller without any covering that was left out in the heat was 72 degrees. But after being covered by a thin cloth, it reached 93 degrees within thirty minutes. After an hour, the temp shot up to almost 100 degrees. Shading your babe from the sun is a great idea, but if you are taking them out for a walk, keep the stroller uncovered for maximum air circulation. Use your stroller's sun cover or an infant hat for protection. Or just use a thin blanket on top of their body, not over the entire stroller.
THE DROWNING MYTH
Hot weather means water fun, and we all know to be especially careful with children. We are aware that even things like a bucket of water or a small amount in a kiddie pool can be a danger, and we make sure that they don't have unsupervised access to a swimming pool. We keep a close eye on them in public pools and beaches. What a lot of parents don't know is that drowning doesn't look like the scenes portrayed on TV. Typical drowning does not involve shouting, waving arms, and bouncing up and down in the water. The blog ModernMom published an article relaying the warning signs of drowning so parents can stay aware in the water. Parents should look for The Instinctive Drowning Response. Below is a recap from the post:
1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
So if your kids are splashing around, they're probably just having a great time. It's when they are still and upright that we should make sure they're okay.
DRY AND SECONDARY DROWNING
This is the new panic sweeping the Facebook mom groups. Dry drowning is so rare that I'm hesitant to mention it and spread the fear, but it's helpful for parents to know that not all drowning happens underwater. Since kids don't know to hold their breath around water, they can sometimes breathe it in even when they are not being submerged in it, and because of their size, their airways are more susceptible to damage. There are two types of incidents that can happen. Below is an excerpt from a WebMD article.
Dry Drowning: With dry drowning, the water children breathe in never even reaches the lungs. Instead, breathing in water causes your child's vocal cords to spasm and close up after he's already left the pool, ocean, or lake. That shuts off his airways, making it hard to breathe. Symptoms of dry drowning usually happen right after any incident in the water.
Secondary Drowning: This happens when your child's airways open up, letting water into his lungs, where it builds up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema which ends up as troubled breathing. Secondary drowning generally starts later, within 1-24 hours of the incident.
Dry drowning and secondary drowning have the same symptoms. They include coughing, chest pain, trouble breathing, and fatigue. They make up only 1-2% of all drowning incidents, so it's not something you should be actively worried about, but keep it in mind if your child is having trouble breathing outside the water.
See you next time!