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How to spot if your baby or child has heat stroke - signs and what to do about it

How to spot if your baby or child has heat stroke - signs and what to do about it

The UK reached sweltering highs over the Bank Holiday weekend.

While this is great news for all the sun-worshippers out there, hot weather can also be a fraught time for parents - especially those with young children and babies.

Worryingly, babies and young children are especially vulnerable to life-threatening conditions such as heat stroke and dehydration.

Heat stroke can occur in a matter of minutes with young babies, meaning it's important to know what the signs are - and what to do.

How to spot if your baby or child has heat stroke.

A pre-cursor to heat stroke is heat exhaustion, Baby Center explains.

Car journeys can be a dangerous too

In this instance, you may notice your baby is more thirsty or tired than normal, or that their skin is cool and moist.

If they're able to articulate themselves, they may also complain of leg or stomach cramps.

If your baby's heat exhaustion progresses to heat stroke, he may have any of the following symptoms:

  • A temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) or higher — but no sweating
  • Hot, red, dry skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache (which may make him irritable)
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Lethargy (Your baby might not respond as strongly as usual when you call his name or tickle his skin, for example.)
  • Unconsciousness.

What should I do?

Firstly, you'll need to reduce their temperature as quickly as possible as babies and small children can fall unconsciousness easily.

Then call an ambulance.

While you wait for the emergency services to arrive, keep sponging your baby down in cold water, ensuring they're positioned in as cool an area as you can find.

Don't feed them water or any medication.

How can I prevent heat stroke?

Getting over-heated is unfortunately very easy for babies and children, especially if they're not used to the hot weather.

To help prevent heat exhaustion either happening or developing into heat stroke, dress your little ones in loose-fitting, lightweight clothes.

If outside, keep them in the shade and keep any eye on them during hot car rides.

Ensure they get more fluids than usual and if the weather is very hot, keep them inside.

 

We found this informative article here.

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