Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40°C and the body fails to cool itself. As a result of this, the important body parts stop functioning.
Symptom of heat stoke include:
- Highbody temperature of 40°C.
- Heavy sweating that stops suddenly.
- Increased thirst, heartbeat and rapid breathing.
- Dry mouth and eyes.
- Headache and muscle cramps.
- Confusion and coma.
Parents can take following precautions to avoid dehydration and heat stroke in their child.
Keep your baby hydrated:
Make sure that your child is well hydrated. If your child is less than 6 months old and you are exclusively breast feeding your child, you don't need to give him extra water. Instead you can increase the frequency of breast feeding. You need to increase water consumption after your child is older than 6 months.
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Milk, shakes, fresh fruit juice, coconut water, ice-chips are also great option to increase your child's fluid intake.
Dress your child in cool cotton dresses during summers. Avoid synthetic clothes which tend to stick to the body and increase sweating. Keep night-clothes light and use a thin cover (pull-over). Disposable nappies cause heat rashes on children's sensitive skin during summers so you must use cotton nappies during summers.
Protect from Sun:
Avoid taking your child out in the sun during peak hours (10am to 5 pm). Take him out only early in the morning or late in the evening. When you take your child out, make him wear long long-sleeved, loose and light cotton clothes. Also use a sun hat with wide rim that fits your baby well to protect him from sun and keep him cool. Avoid using caps with fasteners because if the fastener is too tight, it can restrict your child's blood flow and make him uncomfortable. You should also use a baby friendly high sun protection factor (SPF 30+) sunscreen when you take your child out in sun or in the pool.
Keep your child cool:
Keep your child in the coolest room of the house. Make sure that you have grills on your windows to avoid any accidents. During heat waves, you may want to keep your child in an air-conditioned room. Give your child cool water baths twice a day. You can also take your child to play in a pool to keep him cool. Make sure that you carefully supervise your child all the time when he is in the water.
Summer friendly Pram:
Hot weather, body heat and the carrier's confining space can make a child uncomfortable very quickly. Avoid using prams made from heavy fabrics like denim. Choose a pram made using lightweight nylon or cotton. If your child's face looks flushed or red, remove your child from the pram immediately.
Massage your child with care:
Massage oils can give children heat rash and irritate their skin if it's not washed properly. So avoid using massage oil for children during summers. You can use alternatives such as olive oil or coconut oil, which are comparatively better than massage oils.
These are some easy ways to keep your child comfortable and avoid heat stroke during summers. If you have any other technique that you use to keep your child cool and comfortable during summers, please do share them with us.
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