Friday, February 24, 2012

Care for Children During Hot Weather

We now begin to feel the tropical weather and that means summer is just around the corner. The time for beaches, Pools, and summer fun is fast approaching and summer means EXTREME HEAT. Children, though they enjoy the summer season, should be watched out carefully during this hot weather for they are more susceptible to Dehydration.

  • Sunken fontanels (in babies)
  • Sunken and dark eyes
  • Tired and lethargic
  • Irritable
  • High temperature
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dry and hot skin
Another condition a child can suffer if exposed longer under the sun is Heat Exhaustion.

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Generalized discomfort
The worst condition a child may suffer under extreme hot weather is Heat Stroke, which is more serious and can lead to brain damage and death if not treated immediately.

  • Red, blue, or mottled looking skin tone
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Lack of perspiration
  • Temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

Hydrate the child often. Child are more susceptible to heat stroke because Children’s thermoregulatory systems warm three to five times faster than an adult’s. Breastfeed the infant often or offer drinks to young children. WATER is the best.

The child's clothes should be appropriate for the hot weather. Light-colored cotton loose fitting clothes should be worn by the child so air can flow freely to the skin, cool the heat and absorb perspiration. 

Use Sunscreens. An spf 15 sunscreen should be used to areas not covered by the clothes to avoid sunburn. Apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and reapply often. A chemical-free sunscreen made with zinc oxide or titanium oxide is advisable for kids since it only sits on the top of the skin and blocking the sun's rays. Sunscreen is NOT advisable for use in infant younger than 1 year old. Appropriate clothing to cover most skin areas in an infant should be worn when going out. 

Care inside the car. Never leave the child inside the car especially during the hot weather because the car's temperature is hotter than the outside temperature, and can increase rapidly. Travel during the coolest part of the day. Open the windows while traveling or use the air conditioner. 

Open windows. An open window can be a danger of falling for small children so install a safety window guard and move furniture away from the window to avoid injury and falls.

Immediate action. When early warning signs are recognized, act immediately. Give the child fluids and keep him cool by proper ventilation (air-condition, electric fans) and seek professional help.

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