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Children susceptible to injury on hot summer days

With the summer season in full gear, many Baltimore residents are taking advantage of the warm temperatures by spending time outdoors with their families. In the dead of summer, however, individuals must be careful when they spend too much time outdoors, particularly for young children.

Children are at the highest risk of sustaining injury due to the excessive heat. Indeed, a child's body processes heat differently than adults, because the children have thin skin. As a result, children lose more fluids through their skin, which can lead to nausea, faintness and fever, or severe injuries like heat stroke and worse.

Because of the dangers posed to children by excessive heat, adults who are responsible for a child's supervision need to be careful to ensure the child's safety. This includes schools and daycares, which are often responsible for monitoring a child's well-being during the midst of a hot summer day.

If school officials or others are negligent in their supervision of children, and that negligence leads to child injury, the child may have a personal injury lawsuit to bring against the negligent adult. Schools or parks may also face liability under what is known as premises liability, where hot metal slides and other equipment can endanger children in the sweltering heat.

These playground injuries are no laughing matter, as they can lead to severe injury to children if there is carelessness exhibited by the adults responsible for the child's safety. Heat stroke, if left untreated, can even land a person in the hospital or a coma, or even death in the most serious cases. Accordingly, individuals should ensure their children are protected this summer, and recognize the legal recourse they may have if the child is injured.

Source: WPRI, "Protect kids from heat-related illness," Susan Hogan, Jul. 18, 2013

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