HOT WEATHER – HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR LITTLE ONE ☀️
SIDNEY SAYS…its looks to be a scorcher over the next few days and the Met Office has issued an AMBER warning for extreme heat over the next few days. 🥵
Please take lots of care keeping your little ones cool and reducing their risk of ill-health from the heat.
Did you know that early year’s children do not sweat as much as adults and so cannot control their body temperature during hot weather which puts them at an increased risk of adverse effects?
So, what are the risks?
They can range from mild heat stress, heat exhaustion to heatstroke which can be potentially life threatening.
The main risk from heat is dehydration (not enough water in the body).
By taking sensible precautions, your child is unlikely to suffer an adverse effect of the heat but looking out for the signs and symptoms and knowing what to do is really important.
• Seems out of character
These will worsen with physical activity and could lead to heat exhaustion / heatstroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion vary but include one or more of the following:
• hot, red, and dry skin
When the body is exposed to very high temperatures, the mechanism that controls body temperature may stop working.
Heatstroke can develop if heat stress or heat exhaustion is left untreated, but it can also occur suddenly and without warning.
Symptoms of heatstroke may include:
• high body temperature – a temperature of or above 40°C (104°F) is a major sign of heatstroke
• red, hot skin and sweating that then suddenly stops
• fast heartbeat
• fast shallow breathing
• confusion/lack of co-ordination
• loss of consciousness
How to protect your child OUTDOORS during the hot weather.
• do NOT take part in vigorous physical activity on very hot days, such as when temperatures are in excess of 30°C,
• stay in the shade as much as possible & definitely between 11am – 3pm,
• wear loose, light-coloured clothing to help keep cool and sunhats with wide brims to avoid sunburn,
• use sunscreen (factor 50 with UVA protection) to protect their skin,
• never leave them in a closed, parked vehicle,
• provide plenty of water (such as water from a cold tap) and encourage them to drink more than usual when conditions are hot.
How to protect your child INDOORS during the hot weather
• open windows as early as possible in the morning to allow overnight hot air out and cooler air in,
• almost close windows when the outdoor air becomes warmer than the air indoors – this should help keep the heat out while allowing adequate ventilation,
• use outdoor sun awnings if available, or close indoor blinds or curtains, but do not let them block window ventilation,
• keep the use of electric lighting to a minimum,
• switch off all electrical equipment when not in use – equipment should not be left in ‘standby mode’ as this generates heat,
• oscillating mechanical fans can be used to increase air movement if temperatures are below 35°C – at temperatures above 35°C fans may not prevent heat-related illness and may worsen dehydration,
• wear loose, light-coloured clothing during the day & night to help keep cool,
• encourage them to eat normally and drink plenty of cool water regularly.
• Run them a cool bath before bedtime
What to do if your child is suffering from heat illness
The following steps to reduce body temperature should be taken immediately:
• Get them to lie down in a cool place – such as a room with air conditioning or somewhere in the shade
• Remove any unnecessary clothing to expose as much of their skin as possible
• Cool their skin –use whatever you have available, such as a cool, wet sponge or flannel, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or wrap them in a cool, wet sheet
• Fan their skin while it's moist – this will help the water to evaporate, which will help their skin cool down
• Get them to drink fluids – this should ideally be water, fruit juice or a rehydration drink, such as a sports drink
Stay with your child until they're feeling better.
Most child should start to recover within 30 minutes. If they are not responding to treatment call NHS 111 for advice or 999 to request an ambulance.
In extreme circumstances if your child loses consciousness, or has a fit, place them in the recovery position, call 999 immediately and follow the steps above / advice given until medical assistance arrives.
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