Simple Back-to-School Tips to Keep Kids Safe During Extreme Heat

Sacramento, Calif. (August 14, 2023) – Back to school is approaching and as families gather essentials for the new school year, heat preparedness must remain top of mind. Ensuring the safety of our children during extreme heat events is critical to their well-being and educational success. It is crucial that we all—parents, caregivers, and educators—work together to accomplish this task.


Children are one of the groups at greatest risk of heat illness, including kids with disabilities or those with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes, so it is important to take extra precautions to protect them during extreme heat. California’s Heat Ready CA campaign encourages California residents to be proactive in safeguarding children from the effects of rising temperatures and raises awareness about the dangers of extreme heat, especially within heat-vulnerable communities like our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.


“It is critically important to protect our children and prioritize their health and safety during extreme heat. Their bodies are more affected by high temperatures and by taking precautions to protect them, we can prevent heat-related issues from happening,” said Dr. Marie Thao-Ceballos, Family Nurse Practitioner at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento. “By following the five simple tips provided by Heat Ready CA, parents and caregivers can protect their children and let them begin the new school year worry-free.”


Heat Ready CA is demonstrating its dedication to promoting community health and safety by sharing tips for parents and guardians to implement and help protect children during extreme heat as they return to school.


  1. Apply Sunscreen and Drink Water: Shield children’s skin from harmful UV rays and prevent heat rashes and sunburns by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Encourage children to stay hydrated, and not wait until they’re thirsty. Water is best. Kids should avoid consuming beverages with caffeine or high amounts of sugar to prevent becoming further dehydrated.


  1. Dress for the Heat: Keep kids cool and comfortable by dressing them in light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting, and breathable clothes. Children do not sweat like adults do, reducing their ability to cool down on their own. Teachers and yard duties can help by paying special attention to their students’ faces and body language.


  1. Limit Outdoor Activities: Consider talking to your child’s teacher about minimizing outdoor activities and encourage kids to play indoors or in shaded areas during extreme heat, especially since temperatures are hottest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Children will need frequent breaks to rest and cool off throughout the day.


  1. Educate Kids on Heat Safety: Teach children how to spot symptoms of heat illness and encourage them to seek help. If they or their friends experience heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or dizziness, get help immediately.


  1. Plan Errands with Children in Mind: Never leave children alone in a parked car for any reason. Even a “quick” errand is too long and can have deadly consequences! Temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open or when temperatures feel milder outside.


As we gear up for the new school year, let’s confidently handle hot weather and shield our children from the worst effects of extreme heat by remembering and applying these tips. We can create a nurturing and protective environment for our children by proactively educating them about the dangers of extreme heat and teaching them how to stay safer. For more information about heat safety for vulnerable populations and resources, or to create an extreme heat plan, go to