Wednesday, June 29, 2022

How to prevent Heat Stroke in children

Date:

Dr Sumita Saha, paediatric and neonatology, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, Kolkata, advices on how to prevent Heat Stroke in children.

With temperatures so high, parents are rightly anxious about the consequences of the intense heat, particularly on their children. Because children spend so much time outside, especially during their playtime, it is critical to safeguard them from the dangers of dehydration and heat disease.

When children are exposed to high temperatures, direct sunlight, and high humidity for an extended period without drinking enough fluids, they are in danger of dehydration.

Some common signs of distress due to long exposure to the summer heatwave include, lots of sweating, dizziness or fainting, extreme thirst, headache, nausea and vomiting, dark yellow urine or decreased urination, rapid breathing with a paced heartbeat, behavioural changes such as tantrums or lethargy in children.

If heat stroke, particularly in children is left untreated it can become fatal. In severe cases, heatstroke can lead to brain damage and organ failures too. If the child has heatstroke, they need to get to a doctor immediately as the medical intervention will be needed to bring down their core temperature. When a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, it can prove fatal for them.

Ahead are some precautionary steps that parents should follow to prevent heat exhaustion or dehydration in their children:
• Keep the child hydrated with water and ORS appropriate for his or her age.
• Have the child wear breathable, light-coloured, and loose clothes.
• If the child has a high temperature, give them paracetamol. If the temperature does not reduce, take them to a doctor immediately.
• If they have loose motion or an upset stomach give them fresh home-cooked meals that have less spice and oil content
• Consult paediatrician if there are any worrying symptoms and the child is not responding to general measures.

Children’s bodies are at a much higher risk for heatstroke than that of an adult. Also, if the temperature inside the house is high, chances of heat stroke occurring indoors are also possible. That is why it is important to keep rooms cool with coolers and fans during this scorching summer.

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