Keeping young kids safe in extreme heat

Print
Email
|

by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 1 at 11:37 AM

PHOENIX -- Triple digit temps have arrived in the Valley, and the extreme heat has some folks worried about keeping young kids and babies safe in these rising temperatures.

On Monday's Good Morning Arizona, Dr. Kate McDonnell of Phoenix Children's Hospital gave us some advice about making sure your children stay safe in the sweltering heat.

It's particularly important for infants to not become overheated. "It's important to have infants in light clothing, not excessively bundled," Dr. McDonnell tells us. "Also minimize their exposure to the elements."

Infants have a higher body surface area than adults, so they lose body heat much faster than we do.

"There's a common misconception that infants need water when it's hot out," she says. "But that's not true. Infants below the age of six months should not have any water, because water ingestion can lead to seizures."

You should treat your baby immediately if you see these signs:
-Looks pale with cool, moist skin
-Is irritable and sweating profusely
-Rectal temperature more than 100°F
-Less than a wet diaper every 6-8 hours
-Heat rash or prickly heat
-Baby can't stop scratching

Toddlers can also be susceptible to heat stroke. If you suspect your child is sick you should:
-Stop all activity
-Move to a cool space
-Give them water or sports drink
-Stretch/massage muscles
-Elevate feet/lie down

School-age children can also suffer dehydration. "Usually by the time a child is thirsty, they're already one to two percent dehydrated," Dr. McConnell says. "So it's really important to make sure that your children are well-hydrated before they go out, and then continue to offer them fluids as the day goes on."

Dehydration symptoms include: 
-Thirst, or dry, sticky mouth
-Headache and muscle cramps
-Extreme fatigue and irritability
-Weakness and dizziness
-Decreased performance

Print
Email
|