Protect your child from heatstroke
Although the climate in Okinawa is very suitable to enjoy leisure outdoors, especially with children in parks, leisure pools and beaches, the high temperatures and humidity during the summer season poses a risk of heatstroke. In a matter of fact, heatstroke is one of the most common ailments during the summertime in Japan.
That is why you have to be careful when you go outdoors with your child. For a child, the distance between the hot ground and the child’s body is shorter than is the case with the adults, so it’s easier for the child’s body temperature to rise. And that’s also the reason why it’s easier for children to suffer a heatstroke than for adults.
How to avoid heatstroke when playing outdoors
Make sure the child stays hydrated.
Parents should tell their child to drink water whenever they feel thirsty. When drinking water, tell them not to chug it at once, but rather sip a little bit at a time. As the body loses minerals with sweat, isotonic drinks or barley tea (麦茶, mugicha) is recommended. Especially, the sodium in the body is lost with sweat, so salt candy is a good idea during extreme heat.
Watch the face and sweating of your child
If the child’s face becomes red, and he or she sweats excessively, it means the body temperature is high and you should tell the child to take a break at a cool place.
Choose appropriate clothing
Parents should choose clothing for the child, from which perspiration and heat radiate easily and avoid tight-fitting clothing. The child needs to wear a hat when outside.
Wipe sweat away with a cold towel
When you wipe sweat from your child’s body, use a cold and wet towel. Keeping the body surface slightly wet lowers the body temperature.
Get used to the heat
Sweating transfers heat out of the body. It’s important to make a habit of sweating regularly. When you spend time outside where your body temperature increases, your body conditions to releasing heat by sweating. Staying indoors in an airconditioned house avoiding the heat makes your body more susceptible to the heatstroke. Okinawa’s summertime will continue for a long time, so it could be a good idea to learn to enjoy sweating and devise ways how to go out and play with your child.