Sun and high temperatures can cause many health problems, both adults and children. However, infants and toddlers are the most vulnerable and therefore it is very important to take some precautions when they are going to be exposed to the sun or to high temperatures. Not forgetting what, babies can suffer a sunstroke and it is essential to know how to act in that case to avoid fatal consequences.
What is a sunstroke
It is often confused what a sunstroke is with a heat stroke, these are different but equally dangerous problems for infants and young children. Heat stroke occurs as a result of an increase in temperature, usually produced by heat. In this case, keeping the body well hydrated is the key to avoiding this type of disorder.
Insolation instead, occurs by direct exposure to sunlight. When the head is prolonged exposed to the sun, the blood vessels of the head increase in size, resulting in a disorder in the volume of blood. As a consequence, severe headaches, dizziness and fainting appear, even in the most severe cases loss of consciousness may occur, which is known as syncope.
Generally, recovery after sunstroke is usually fast and does not usually cause major consequences, as can happen with heat stroke. However, it is very important to know how to recognize the symptoms and act in time to control the situation as quickly as possible, especially if the sunstroke is suffered by a baby or a young child.
Infants and children up to 4 years are the most at risk of sunstroke. This is because their body temperature regulation system is different from that of adults, so they are more vulnerable. In addition, the skin of such young children is much more delicate and can be burned more easily. Therefore, if a toddler or baby is going to be exposed to the sun, even for a short period of time, it is essential to take some precautions.
- Protect baby’s skin: Apply a cream with the highest protection and make sure it is a specific product for the baby’s skin. In addition to applying the protection throughout the body, use appropriate clothing for the baby. These are garments that include protection from sunlight, which allow children to be exposed to the sun. However, these garments should not in any case replace sunscreen cream.
- The head tightly covered and under the umbrella: Wear a cap or hat that protects your baby’s head from sunlight.
- Make sure it is always well hydrated: If your baby is a nursing baby, make sure he or she takes his breast frequently. For older children who already drink water, make sure they always drink liquid, fruit, and dairy.
How to act in the face of a sunstroke
Despite taking all the preventive measures, it can happen to anyone that through a dismissal the child suffers a sunstroke. In the face of that situation, it is essential to remain calm at all times in order to be able to act rationally and as quickly as possible. If you notice that your baby or young child begins to show symptoms of a sunstroke, you should act quickly and as follows.
- Look for an area removed from the sun and as cool as possible. You need to lower your child’s body temperature quickly, you can use a fan or enter a facility. Generally, shops have refrigeration systems and cool will help lower body temperature.
- Use warm water cloths. Remove all clothes and use cloths, towels or anything you have at hand. Always with warm water, it should never be cold water.
- If the child has not lost consciousness, you need to drink liquids, either water or an isotonic drink if possible. The liquid should be fresh but not very cold, if you have to choose, better at room temperature.
If after applying these tips the child does not improve, does not lower body temperature and does not improve symptoms, most likely it is a heat stroke and not a sunstroke. In that case, you should go to emergency medical services as soon as possible.