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Making sure children stay safe in the heat

Hydration and sunscreen are important for everyone, but especially for young children who are more sensitive to the sun.

LITITZ, Pa. — Lititz Springs Park was packed with kids having fun on Saturday, all thanks to the town’s Kiwanas Club.

“Kiwanas Club is all about kids and we hold a couple of big events, Pretzel Fest was just a few weeks ago and we were able to use some of the funds to let the kids have a nice day out," said Charles Stickler, board member of the Kiwanas Club of the Lititz Area.

The "Kids Fun Day" fell on the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching above 90 degrees across Central Pennsylvania.

Little ones at the park found all kinds of ways to keep cool.

“I put my feet in the creek earlier and I’m drinking lots of water," said Fiona Dietrich of Lititz.

The early summer-like temperatures caught us all by surprise.

“It was hot a lot of other times so I thought it might be hot but not this hot," said Delis Hernandez of Lancaster.

Dr. Anthony Guarracino, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC Harrisburg, says staying hydrated is key for everyone.

“Especially when you see unexpected heat early in the year you’re excited, you want to go outside and what you don’t think about is dehydration," said Dr. Guarracino.

But it's especially important for young children, who are more sensitive to the sun.

"You want to stay hydrated because if you’re not hydrated your body gets a lot more weaker," said Hernandez.

Using sunscreen is also vital, even on cloudy days.

“We all, if we don’t use sunscreen, get a sunburn and in two weeks it’s gone and the damage, as far as we can tell, is done but the problem is the risk for skin cancer later in life," said Dr. Guarracino.

And experts say you want to dress your kiddos in lightweight clothing that still protects them from the sun.

Sunglasses and wide brim hats are other important summer accessories.

"You see a lot of people wear ball caps and ball caps are great because you have the wide bill in front but your ears are sticking out and your ears are really sensitive," said Dr. Guarracino.

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