← Go back Keep Children Cool! Protect Your Child from Extreme Heat
Published on Friday, July 7, 2017 by

Extreme heat can be dangerous for all children, especially for infants and young children.

Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of the hands, feet and ankles), heat rash (prickly heat) and heat cramps (muscle cramps). They are mainly caused by over-exposure to heat or over-exertion in the heat, and if not prevented, can lead to long-term health problems and even death.

Prepare for Extreme Heat
Stay informed about local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care. If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works properly before the hot weather starts. Otherwise, find an air-conditioned spot near you that you can use to cool off for a few hours during extreme heat.

Learn about ways to keep your home cool during the summer. For example, if you live in a house, plant trees on the side where the sun hits the house during the hottest part of the day.

Watch Your Child’s Health Closely
Stay alert for symptoms of heat illness.
They include:

  • Changes in behaviour (sleepiness or temper tantrums);
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting;headache
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Eextreme thirst; and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine

If you see any of these signs during extreme heat, immediately move the child to a cool place and give liquids. Water is best. If you are breastfeeding your child, breast milk will provide adequate hydration, but remember to keep yourself hydrated so you can produce a sufficient amount of milk.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency! Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for a child who has a high body temperature and is unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating.

While Waiting for Help – Cool the Child Right Away by:

  • Moving them to a cool place
  • Applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing;
  • Fanning the child as much as possible

NEVER leave children (or pet) inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight. When outside air temperature is 23°C/73°F, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous – more than 50°C/122°F.

Children most at risk include those with breathing difficulties (asthma), heart conditions, kidney problems, mental and physical disabilities, developmental disorders, diarrhea, and those who take certain medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication increases risk to your child’s health in the heat and follow their recommendations. 

Article provide by: Health Canada 

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