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Hot Weather Safety Guidelines: Childcare Centres

The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:

During an Extreme Heat Alert

 

Follow Heat Alert Guidelines AND

  • Consider cancelling outdoor activity and keeping children indoors. If at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place or go to the shopping mall, library, recreational facilities or heat-relief shelters. 
     

During a Heat Alert

  • Keep children cool
  • Keep children hydrated
  • Monitor children closely

Follow the General Guidelines AND

  • Activate policies and plans to deal with extreme temperatures.
  • Suspend all outdoor activity if possible, or limit time spent outdoors. Where possible keep children in an air-conditioned place.
  • Check frequently on children and monitor those in wheelchairs more closely.
  • Keep children well hydrated by giving water and diluted fruit juices frequently.
  • Provide parents with information on how to keep children cool and provide the Region of Peel’s website for additional information.
     

General Recommendations

 
  1. Establish a policy and plan to deal with extreme temperatures.
  2. Keep children cool and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
  3. Limit time outdoors between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. when temperatures and UV radiation are most intense. Offer regularly scheduled rest periods.
  4. When outdoors, stay in the shade whenever possible (natural or artificial structures).
  5. When in the sun cover up. Ensure children wear a wide brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, and light and loose fitting clothing.
  6. Be sure children are well hydrated. Plain water is the liquid of choice; diluted fruit juice is okay.
  7. Check regularly on infants and young children to be sure they stay cool and hydrated.
  8. Sunscreens/insect repellent are not recommended for infants under six months of age. Keep babies under one year of age out of direct sunlight.
  9. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption.
  10. When using DEET insect repellent, apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.
  11. NEVER leave children in a closed parked vehicle.
  12. Monitor children with disabilities and check the heat on metal and vinyl parts of wheelchairs.
  13. Check heat of metal slides, monkey bars etc. in playground areas.
  14. Staff should role model appropriate heat and sun safety behaviours for children.
  15. Staff should be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.

Adapted with permission from Peel Public Health.