When summer is at its worst, the heat can take a toll on your young one, causing her to suffer from heatstroke. There are a number of reasons that can cause heatstroke. There’s a lot you can do to prevent or cure it and its symptoms are easy enough to identify.
Sweat cools our bodies. Our bodies produce a large amount of heat when the food we eat is broken down as part of our normal metabolism . The body also has its own ways of getting rid of this heat. We sweat and when our sweat evaporates, our bodies automatically cool down.
Your little one is more susceptible to heat stroke. Babies are more vulnerable to the heat, primarily because their bodies, unlike adult bodies, have not yet achieved the ability to adapt to a sudden increase in heat. They generally suffer a heatstroke when taken out into the heat all of a sudden, without any precaution to allow their bodies to slowly adapt to the temperature. A baby as young as 2 months old is very likely to suffer from a heatstroke, if she is suddenly taken out of an air conditioned environment and directly exposed to the summer sun.
A heatstroke can be easily identified.
There are some simple symptoms of heatstroke. Identifying those helps you solve the condition in your baby.
Rapid increase in body temperature: Your baby’s body temperature shoots up causing her to suffer from very high fever.
Rapid Pulse Rate: Your baby’s pulse rate hits a peak, if she is suffering from a heat stroke.
Dehydration: Watch out for symptoms of dehydration such as dry skin with a slight reddishness and lack of sweating.
Breathlessness: Your baby may also suffer from breathing difficulties. If you find the following symptoms in your little one, you need to take immediate action, apart from consulting your pediatrician.
Steps to control your baby’s heatstroke.
If heat exhaustion, feed the little one ample Oral Rehydration Solution ( ORS): If you feel that your baby( 6 months and older) has just suffered from heat exhaustion, feed her ORS and make her rest. For babies under 6 months, breastfeeds should be given frequently.
If mild heatstroke, go for a cool shower and rest: Give the baby a shower in water that is not too cool. Keep her indoors for a couple of days. Do not allow her to get too tired. Also give her some liquids like coconut water, lemonade (nimbu pani), unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, aam panna, chaas etc to rehydrate her. It must neither be too cold nor too sugary. ORS is in fact the right liquid to give to your baby at such times. She needs to get a lot of sleep. If it does not get better within the day, you must consult your pediatrician.
If severe heatstroke, ask for immediate medical help: Immediately, bring your baby to a cooler, darker spot and ask for emergency medical help. As help arrives, stay calm and do the bit that you can do. Undress her. Try to bring her body temperature down by sponging her with water in normal temperature. Keep speaking to her and do not allow her to sleep off. Do not try any medication on her by yourself.
Measures to prevent heatstroke.
Like they say, there’s nothing that causes lesser worry than good preventive measures. There are a number of things you can do to prevent heatstroke.
Increase water intake: Keeping the body well-hydrated is the best possible way to ensure that heatstroke does not strike your little one. Ensure that your little one drinks enough water and other healthy fluids such as fruit juices, vegetable juices, lassi, buttermilk, panna, coconut water and others. Also, when she goes out, you must ensure she is already well-hydrated and continues to drink more while she is playing or studying.
Say no to the hot sun: Try not taking your little darling out in the hot sun on a summer afternoon. If she wants to play outdoors , she should do it either early in the morning or in the evenings.
Careful with refrigerated water: Be a little strict with cold water, right out of the fridge, especially when your baby is right back from the hot sun. Allow her to drink water at room temperature until her body has cooled down substantially.
Cool, light clothes: Every time your young one has to go out in the heat, make sure she is wearing clothes that are light coloured, loosely fitted and breathe enough air. A cap is also a smart idea too.
Keep the house cool: Keeping your house cool and dark is always a good idea to prevent your little one from suffering heatstroke. As a last word, the best way to deal with a heat stroke is by staying calm and doing the needful, but the best way to not have to deal with it is to prevent it.
Heatstroke is not really something to panic about. It’s just a body condition that arises out of a seasonal phenomenon. Keep in knowledge beforehand the steps to tackle it. Try and prevent the condition, but in case it takes place, just keep your cool and do the needful.