Saturday, April 8, 2023

Heat wave.. How to protect your child from sunstroke?

The effect of heat on children:

Babies are particularly sensitive to heat. During this heat wave period, certain precautions are necessary to avoid dehydration and heatstroke. Exposure to excessive heat causes young children to overheat and rapidly lose water from their bodies (60%) which can lead to severe dehydration. Even if heatstroke is possible in winter (due to excessive heating), during summer critical situations are more numerous. If your child is already suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, that is, he is already losing water, then the risk is doubled.

Extreme alertness in the car:

When traveling by car, it is best to travel outside of the main departure times and the warmest hours of the day. The child does not yet know how to ask for a drink, so regularly offer him small amounts of water, and protect him from the sun with a hat and sunscreen. If he's sleeping in a stroller, don't fold the top over him, as this prevents any ventilation and reduces the amount of breathable air. Yes to air conditioning, but not directed directly at the child, I advise parents to sit in the back seats to test this. Above all, take breaks when airing the car out, and never leave her alone in the car, under any circumstances!

No picnic during the hottest hours of the day:

Riding in a stroller are also tricky situations. We think of protecting the baby from the sun by covering the carrycot with a diaper, but this technique increases the temperature of the cabin and prevents air circulation. Lack of airflow exposes the infant to heatstroke. In the event of heatstroke, the disturbances intervene within half an hour, especially if the child does not drink. Parents find themselves in front of a sleepy, listless, hot toddler who loses water through diarrhea and vomiting, but no longer urinates his diaper. Before dehydration occurs with collapse (sudden drop in blood pressure)

The child should be 'recharged' with mineral salts, at the rate of 1 sachet of oral rehydration (available in pharmacies without a prescription) per 200 ml of water, wrapped in a cool cloth in the shade for 24 to 48 hours. Not to use the bath that is supposed to lower the temperature Giving a feverish and sleepy child a medicine that lowers the temperature is more effective and less harmful than immersing him in a cold bath. Of course, if he refuses to drink or remains drowsy after half an hour, hurry to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Sunscreen is essential:

What are the behaviors to be followed in the face of a heat wave? First, in case of exposure (a walk in the city, an afternoon at the beach, a walk in the woods…) use a sunscreen with a maximum index of IP50+. It is necessary to apply it 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and to repeat the process every two hours, or even every 30 minutes in the case of exposure to strong sunlight. Dozio, rinse well and dry the baby well when he comes out of the water, then give him the cream.

Thirdly, during any fair (including short walks or outdoor games!), prefer the hours when the sun is least "beating" before 11 am and after 4 pm. Obviously, while hiking, it is important to put your child in the shade, under an umbrella or behind a sunblock. You can also make him wear glasses and a sun hat, or even cover him up.