With all three days of the UK’s summer drawing closer, naturally London’s streets, parks and outdoor attractions are set to spring to life. Yet as the city annually basks in the summer sun and the children run free, weightier and commonly underestimated threats lurk in the summertime shadows for Britain’s children who are serious in their playtime. Hospitals see an increase in cases of heatstroke, burns and water-accidents (among other health hazards) as they typically peak around this time of year. Although prevention (and common sense) is better than cure, one can never anticipate those crazy life-threatening moments that the universe sometime throws our way. And while having First Aid training is practical prevention itself, because you never know when your child might need medical assistance, reading and gaining basic knowledge on these three summertime haphazards might just help or (in a worst case scenario) save a child’s life!
So without further ado, here are the first of three Siren Training’s recommended Emergency First Aid techniques to alleviate these potential injuries until professional help arrives; should they happen and again, we hope they don’t!

Heat exhaustion/stroke

While we can all agree that stripping off and absorbing that rare British vitamin D is justified given our Antarctic winter. Caution among the sun is advised as people forget just how easy sun damage is to acquire. Heat exhaustion is one of the easiest conditions person can develop during their time bathing in the sun. As a silent creeper it can occur over the period of a few hours if a person’s constantly exposed to the heat and isn’t properly hydrated (and we dont mean Pimms). This can develop into the much more serious condition, heatstroke, one that strains the organs and is potentially life-threatening. Should you find your child (or anyone for that matter) suffering heat exhaustion symptoms (tired/dizzy/weak/queasiness, thirst, headaches, or decreased blood pressure) we advise you to:

• Find a cool place and rest – preferably a fanned or air conditioned room or hastily retreat to the shade
• Shed some layers – expose as much skin as possible
• Lower skin temperature – Since this is an emergency use whatever cool liquids you have (probably Pimms) and apply it to the neck, armpits, forehead and wrists first to lower body temp faster.
• Fan the moist skin – I’m sure you’re familiar with the sensation of stepping out of a shower into the cold, the same principle applies and will cool down the skin faster!
• Drink fluids – like always, water first if possible! Consider juices and rehydration sports drinks thereafter (definitely not Pimms)

Should the victim suffering become unresponsive to the treatment after 30 minutes or develop further symptoms of heatstroke (confusion, seizures and under a loss of consciousness), helpers should gently administer the recovery position and call for medical help. So go fourth and soak in those rays but remember, stay hydrated, cool and additionally, please never leave a child or dog for that matter in the car by themselves.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNDWN8KDVSM for more on why not to leave your child in the car for an extended period of time.