Do you know the signs of heat stress in children and what to do?
23rd January 2017
Hot weather can take a serious toll on our health, especially on children.
Did you know that it is not just days where temperatures are in or above the high 30’s that pose a significant health risk?
Signs and symptoms of heat stress and exhaustion in children:
- Increased thirst
- Weakness, dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irritability, confusion
- Increased sweating
- Cool, clammy skin
- Elevation of body temperature,
- Rapid breathing and heartbeat
- In extreme cases a loss of consciousness or seizure can occur
What to do
If a child is displaying symptoms of heat stroke, please seek emergency medical care immediately.
In cases of heat exhaustion or while awaiting help for a child with possible heatstroke:
- Bring the child indoors and somewhere cool or into the shade immediately.
- Undress the child.
- Have the child lie down; elevate feet slightly.
- If the child is alert, place in cool bath water. If outside, spray the child with mist from a garden hose or lightly douse with water.
- If the child is alert and coherent, give frequent sips of cool, clear fluids.
- Put a cool, wet cloth or cool water on your child’s skin.
- If the child is vomiting, turn onto his or her side to prevent choking.
- Keep them calm so as not to further elevate their temperature.
- Always seek medical assistance, if your child is too exhausted or ill to drink, treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary.
Prevention is best
At all Guardian Early Learning Group Centres significant importance is placed on ensuring the children are able to consistently enjoy a safe, comfortable, happy and healthy environment. Below are important aspects that enable this to occur for your child and Guardian Early Learning Group strongly encourages our families to continue these in their own homes.
At all Guardian Early Learning Group Centres, the educators are continually reminding the children of the importance of always drinking plenty of fluids before and during any activity, especially in hot, sunny weather — even if they aren’t thirsty. If families can continue to spread this message at home then this will help establish healthy hydration habits for life.
Wear appropriate clothing
Children are encouraged to wear light-coloured, loose clothing in warm weather. At Guardian Early Learning Centres all children must wear a hat whenever they are in the outside spaces. Also remember to ‘slip, slop, slap’, applying sunscreen and covering up even when cloudy and cooler, this step is crucial.
When too hot stay indoors
Educate children to come indoors immediately whenever they feel overheated. Don’t let kids participate in strenuous activity outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.
The educators at Guardian Early Learning Group centres are highly trained and qualified to take the best care of your children and will do all they can to ensure they are kept safe and well.
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