Heatstroke is more common than we think during the summer. This medical condition is produced when the body is unable to maintain its temperature within the standard levels. It is usually caused during periods of hot weather when the body is unable to cool itself down sufficiently via perspiration. This body function is vital for controlling our internal temperatures.
The risks of a child getting heatstroke are higher as they spend more time playing around on the beach or at a swimming pool without taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the sun. It is equally important to not only try and prevent the effects of heatstroke but to also closely follow these steps in the event of developing heatstroke.
How to prevent heatstroke in children
If you are careful, it is not impossible to carry out a strategy to prevent a child from getting heatstroke during the summer.
- The clothes that children wear during hot weather is a key element. It is highly recommended to wear clothes that are as loose as possible without being uncomfortable. The fabric also needs to be soft and light, and make sure you try to avoid dark colored clothing.
- Protection from the sun is essential. At all times, especially during the time of day where the sun is at its highest, make sure that children are as protected as possible with a hat or something similar.
- At the beach or at a swimming pool is where heatstroke is most likely. This means that an umbrella is something that you should have in mind. Experts consider that an umbrella is an accessory that you simply can’t go without during the summer months.
- Sunscreen is something that you can’t ignore during this time of year either. You must use a sunscreen that is suitable for the needs of your child but generally, a lotion with an SPF rating of between 40 and 50 is ideal. Most of these lotions require that they are applied to skin 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun and then reapplied after every 90 minutes. Following these recommendations is the only way to assure complete protection from the suns rays.
- If you are planning outdoor activities, then try to avoid the hours around midday. This advice is usually ignored but this is the time of day that the sun is at its highest and when the intensity of its harmful UV rays are at its greatest.
- Hydration is something else that can’t be ignored. Even if your child is not thirsty, they should have something to drink every 15 to 20 minutes. Water is what the body needs to control the body temperature.
How to act in the case of a child getting heatstroke?
Even if you follow all of the steps to prevent heatstroke, don’t be surprised if, at some point, the effects of heatstroke end up appearing. When this happens you must follow these steps to reduce the effects and treat the symptoms of heatstroke as quickly as possible.
- The first thing to do is leave the areas with the highest temperatures. An umbrella or sunshade can be the best place to hide from the sun under these circumstances. The aim is to reduce the body temperature as quickly as possible.
- Cool the body down with cold drinks. It is not necessary to drink isotonic or sugared drinks. Water is the best option for the body to steadily reduce its temperature back down to its optimal level.
- In the event of the effects of heatstroke continuing you may need to consider the use of specific medicines although this must only be decided after receiving medical advice from a professional.
If the symptoms continue to persist then you will need to see a doctor for a complete check-up, to make sure that they are not suffering from any other condition that may be causing dizziness or their other symptoms. The doctor will review their vital signs and make sure that they receive the right treatment.
It is important to remember that this condition, heatstroke, will usually be cured after just a few hours of feeling uncomfortable and that when treated in time and correctly, will not need to be considered as a serious illness.