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Record Breaking Los Angeles Heat: Kids and Water

Los Angeles heat wave

Record breaking L.A. heat

We’re roasting over here on the west coast today. According to the Los Angeles Times, as of mid-day the temperatures in downtown L.A. reached 113. Even in Santa Monica they are 106. The National Weather Service says that’s the highest temperature on record since they started keeping track in 1877.

We don’t have air conditioning in my house, so a ceiling fan and ice water will have to do it. But this morning, my son was already dripping in sweat by 9:00 a.m. It made me remember something I learned in physiology class.

When you’re thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated (even if only slightly), because there are many steps between losing the right balance of fluids in the body, and our brains actually sending us the signal that we need water.

I normally let my son tell me if he’s thirsty (I offer water but don’t insist). But in this kind of heat, we can’t rely on our kids to tell us when it’s time to drink. In the heat when our kids are sweating, their bodies are trying to cool off by letting air evaporate off the skin, but if the temperature is sky high and the air is humid, the system breaks down. Combined with our not-so-sensitve thirst detector, it makes super hot days extra dangerous for little ones.

Image: Flickr/Todd Jones

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