In the heat of the summer, a minute can be too long.
Babies and children can suffer heat stroke from being in a parked car even on a mild day–car interiors heat up when cars are standing still in the sun. What’s heat stroke? It happens when someone is overheated and the body is unable to use its natural defenses to cool itself off. It’s dangerous for anyone, but especially for babies and children, who can’t always tell you that they’re too hot!
What are some signs of heat stroke?
- Skin that is hot, dry, and red
- High temperature of 103 degrees and above without sweating
- Headache, which can cause irritability
- Breathing that is shallow and quick
If you think your baby is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 to get emergency medical assistance. While you wait for help to arrive, work to cool your child down by removing clothing, moving into a cool area, and applying cool compresses such as a wet washcloth. Emergency personnel will tell you when it’s safe to give your child liquids.
Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke; signs of this include stomach or leg cramps, unusual lethargy or thirst, and cool, damp skin. Offer liquids when your child has heat exhaustion; over the age of 4 months, water can be given. For younger infants, stick to breast milk or formula. In addition, use the tips listed above to help cool down your baby. Heat exhaustion is not an emergency condition, but it does bear watching because it can turn into an emergency if it’s not reversed.
On this hot weekend, keep cool–and keep your baby cool too! We’ll be back Monday as we kick off Grandparents’ Week with two BIG Baskets of Bargains!