After a pair of days in the mid-80s, a heat wave has reached the metro and could be dangerous for children venturing outdoors.
On Thursday temperatures are expected to take off once the sun comes up and jump from the low 70s to the low-to-middle 90s. Most heat indices are expected to get close to or exceed 100 degrees.
As the temperatures heat up, officials say it is important to protect children from the heat and the sun’s harmful rays.
Parents thinking about taking their kids to the park are also asked to think ahead. Experts say the plastic slides can heat up just as much as the metal ones, reaching temperatures near 150-degrees. That temperature is high but burns can be seen at much lower temperatures. At 120-degrees, children are susceptible to burns.
Parks can also present dangers for children just walking around. The rubber surface laid down at many parks around the metro can heat up to temperatures hotter than the concrete in the area. Many experts say those rubber pads are the hottest part of many parks.
Parents looking for an alternative to the park are advised to try going to a pool, the library or anywhere indoors and air-conditioned.
Officials want to remind parents about precautions they can take during extreme heat. Drink plenty of fluids. Check on family and friends who don’t have air conditioning. Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Use sunscreen.The incoming heatwave comes after the month of May set heat records in the Kansas City area.
Children under the age of two and 65 and older are at the highest amount of risk during extreme heat.
In May, two Grandview, MO, children suffered burns from plastic slides at a playground.
And it's not just playground equipment that can heat up.
A mother recently shared photos on social media of second-degree burns her child suffered from a seatbelt buckle.
Fire officials say these objects can get up to 150 degrees in the summer. They say turning on the vehicle's air conditioning before getting in can help prevent burns.
Officials also suggest getting covers for the seats and seatbelts or sun shades to keep out some of the heat. They also say, in a pinch, putting towels over the seat can also help.
Children walking or sitting on concrete should be sure to wear shoes or have something to sit on. Officials say parents should also touch the surface before hand to make sure it isn't too warm.
Experts warn people to look out for the signs of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke.
There are certain signs to look out for. Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke have similar symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue and dizziness. They also have important differences that experts want people to be aware of.
For heat exhaustion, they say to watch out for muscle cramps, sweats, cold clammy skin and a slowed heartbeat. For heat stroke, experts say to watch out for flushed dry skin, rapid heart rate and possible convulsions.
Experts say heat stroke can happen suddenly and without any signs of heat exhaustion.
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