8 Tips to Prevent Babies from Heatstroke, a Silent Threat in Summer

8 Tips to Prevent Babies from Heatstroke, a Silent Threat in Summer 8 Tips to Prevent Babies from Heatstroke, a Silent Threat in Summer 8 Tips to Prevent Babies from Heatstroke, a Silent Threat in Summer

Summertime in Thailand is extremely hot. In some areas, the temperature might reach over 40 degrees Celsius. The extremely hot weather is a silent threat as babies of less than 5 years of age might have a risk to suffer ‘heatstroke’, apart from “skin rashes” [T11], which typically harm the newborn’s skin.

'Heat stroke' or 'sunlight illness' occurs when the body experiences extremely hot climate for a long time, such as being constantly exposed in the sun. It results in the body temperature which is as high as the surrounding, so physical adjustment is almost impossible. Therefore, the brain’s malfunction usually occurs in the body's thermoregulatory region as the hotter the weather, the hotter the body. Sometimes, the body temperature might rise to more than 40 degrees Celsius, affecting the function of the circulatory system and the brain system.

How do we know if the heatstroke already occurs
​Heatstroke is usually found when our face comes reddened and our body’s temperature is rising continuously, but we do not sweat despite how hot the weather is. Initially, we might have a lot of thirst, dizziness, headache, nausea, rapid breathing, and vomiting. If the symptom is extreme, we might become disoriented, confused, almost unconscious, and, for some, have convulsion and the heart might beat fast but lightly.

Basic treatment When the baby is suspected of having symptoms of 'heat stroke', parents should promptly provide the following basic treatments:

• Immediately bringing babies into the shade.
• Taking off tight clothes
• Lay babies flat and light their feet high. If the babies vomit, place them on the side first. Once the vomiting stop, lay them on their back.
​• Apply some water on babies’ body and use a fan to evaporate the water. Otherwise, use ice packs on the babies’ armpits, neck, back and groin to lower body temperature.


8 Ways to prevent heatstroke

  • Let babies wear light clothes that are not thick and able to ventilate the heat well, while protecting them from sunlight
  • Babies should drink plenty of water as it allows the body to naturally cool down through sweat. They should drink water frequently, especially when the weather is extremely hot, although the babies do not feel like drinking water at all. Parents should let babies drink a couple of glasses of water before going out.
  • Babies should stay in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply the SPF-15 sunscreen lotion on the babies’ body.
  • The babies should wear a wide-brimmed hat when going outside.
  • Avoid leaving babies in constant sunlight.
  • Avoid leaving babies in closed space by themselves, such as a parked car which parents nonetheless leave windows on or park in a shade as the temperature of the car might rise quickly.
  • Parents should take babies outside early the morning or late in the afternoon because the weather is not much hot.

Parents will realize that heat stroke is not as threatening as they think if they know how to properly take care of their babies and prevent them from this condition.

A heartfelt thank to Piyarat ‘Ann’ Lertbannaphong, M.D.

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