Menu Close

News and Updates

Return to News & Updates

A safer summer: REMSA Health offers tips for child water safety and heat illness prevention

June 7, 2023 (RENO, Nev.) – Summer temperatures are approaching and many families will be looking forward to fun in the sun and cooling off in the water. As the exclusive ground emergency medical services (EMS) provider for Washoe County, Nevada, REMSA Health wants to ensure everyone safely enjoys family activities in area pools, lakes and rivers and knows how to prevent heat-related illness. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is a leading cause of death for children. Additionally, a child’s body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more at risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33 children died of heatstroke after being left in cars in the U.S. in 2022.

REMSA Health offers child safety tips to help families be prepared to enjoy summer safely:


Prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Keep infants under six months old out of direct sunlight.
  • Everyone should use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after sweating, swimming, or towel drying.
  • Hang out in shaded areas, especially during midday hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Stay hydrated.
    • The amount of fluids children need depends on their weight and physical activity. As a general rule, children ages 1-3 years need approximately 32 oz per day, children 4-8 years need about 40 oz, and those ages 8 or older need 56- 64 oz.
    • Make hydration enjoyable for children by giving them fruit with high water content—such as watermelon and strawberries—or frozen fruit pops.
    • For infants, consider increasing their intake of formula or breast milk.
  • While prevention is vital, heat-related illnesses can still occur. Know the signs of heat illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal. 

Never leave children in the car – practice the “Look before you lock” habit:

  • Parents and caregivers should establish the habit of looking in the back seat, every time before leaving the car. 
  • Remind children that vehicles are NOT play areas. 
  • Keep your vehicle locked and keys out of reach at all times. 
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1 and work quickly to get them out. 

Practice water safety: 

  • There’s a common misconception that drowning victims splash water and yell for help. However, drowning is often silent and still, which is why it is critical to assign an adult to the role of “Water Watcher.”
    • A designated Water Watcher should be a good swimmer and be able to remain attentive. 
    • Water Watchers should avoid alcohol consumption, using cell phones, reading, or multitasking.
    • Water Watchers should wear a tag or carry a whistle indicating their role as they supervise all children near the water.
    • The Water Watcher should only leave their post once the next watcher arrives.
  • Never leave a child unattended or under the care of other children near water.
  • Make sure all children wear life jackets.
  • Ensure proper fencing and alarms are installed for backyard pools.
  • Learn how to provide CPR. REMSA Health offers CPR courses open to the public and those interested may register online.

Find more summer safety tips and information at




Photo cutline: REMSA Health paramedics perform CPR on a pediatric manikin during a mock drowning scenario to demonstrate the importance of water safety for families and community members.

Media note: Audio of a mock 9-1-1 pediatric drowning call is available for download.

Media contacts: 

About REMSA Health and Care Flight

REMSA Health is a private, non-profit community organization which provides a full range of innovative healthcare services outside of the hospital setting. We are funded only by user fees, with no local tax subsidies. REMSA Health provides Washoe County’s 420,000+ residents with 24/7 ambulance services. Care Flight, a service of REMSA Health, provides critical care transport services via ground and air ambulance across the western United States. REMSA Health includes an internationally accredited Regional Emergency Communications Center, a Nevada-licensed Center for Integrated Health and Community Education, an accredited Nurse Health Line, and special operations and special events teams. REMSA Health: Care. Community. Innovation. For more information, visit


Want to join the team?

Explore Openings


Get trained for a career in EMS

Explore Programs
Get in Touch
General Information (775) 858-5700
Emergency 911