Summertime means sunny days and extra play time outdoors. The season also presents certain dangers to our most vulnerable age group – infants and toddlers. First 5 San Bernardino recognizes these potential hazards and is here as a resource to help stop dangerous situations before they even begin. Hot temperatures can burn, dehydrate and even be fatal. It is our job as parents and caretakers to be equipped with the knowledge to prevent a potentially dangerous situation while also recognizing the signs of heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburn.  

“While summer is a time for fun and quality time for families, it is also easy to forget that the heat can affect our little ones faster and more intensely than it does us,” said First 5 San Bernardino Executive Director Karen Scott. “Knowing the signs of overheating and dehydrating, and understanding how to prevent them, can help avoid a dangerous medical situation.” 

As part of the Kids Safe Summer campaign, First 5 San Bernardino has launched an informational Sun Safety web page to help parents and caretakers better understand how to prevent a potentially dangerous situation, while also recognizing the signs of heatstroke, dehydration and sunburn. 

Most importantly, never leave a child in a car unattended, as cars can heat up to deadly temperatures as quickly as 10 minutes. While most people know to never leave their child in a car, most instances of children dying from heatstroke are because someone accidentally forgot to check the back seat. A great way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to set a reminder to always check the back seat, such as leaving a stuffed animal in your front seat while the child is in the car, then moving it to the back seat when they are out.  

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are more likely to occur in babies because their bodies are not yet fully developed. As a result, babies experience overheating three to five times faster than adults. Recognize the effects of extreme heat by being an active supervisor during play time outside.  

Preventing skin damage begins with the understanding that young skin must be adequately covered. Protection can be sunscreen, loose-fitting clothing and/or providing shaded areas for children. For infants under six months old, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends they are kept out of the sun entirely.  

Children can become dehydrated in as little as 30 minutes of play in the hot weather. Know the signs. Actively look for dry mouth, sunken eyes, decreased urine output, irritability, lethargy, and a lack of tears when crying. 

For more information and resources on sun safety, visit First 5 San Bernardino on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @first5sanbernardino or on the website at We hope you have a Kid Safe Summer!

Additional County Update News – July 7, 2023

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