Prevent the Effects of Extreme Heat in Infants and Toddlers
A heat index at or above 90*F, as identified by the National Weather Service, poses a significant health risk, especially for infants and toddlers.
There are several steps you can take to “beat the heat” and protect your child from heat-related illness.
If your home does not have air-conditioning, find a nearby place that does. Libraries are a good place to go or plan in advance to go to a friend or relative who does have air-conditioning when temperatures are high.
Have water readily available and encourage your child to drink regularly. Infants receiving breast milk in a bottle can be given extra breast milk in a bottle, but they should not be given water-especially in the first six months of life. Also infants receiving formula from a bottle can be given extra formula.
Kids have a lower capacity for sweating than adults. Dress your children in light- colored clothing, lightweight, and limited to one layer of absorbent material that will maximize the evaporation of sweat.
EXTRA REST TIME
Heat can often make (and their parents) feel tired.
Give your child a cool bath or water mist, when your child is feeling hot. Swimming is another great way
to cool off.
POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXTREME HEAT
WHEN TO CALL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN
If your child develops any of the following symptoms.
Feeling faint; Extreme tiredness (unusually sleepy, drowsy, or hard to arouse); Headache; Fever; Intense thirst; Not urinating for many years; Nausea; Vomiting; Breathing faster or deeper than normal; Skin numbness or tingling; Muscle aches; Muscle spasms
PSCHOLOLOGICAL EFFECTS FROM THE HEAT
Don’t forget about your child’s mental health, as well. Children may become anxious or restless from being kept indoors. Plan ahead for entertainment with indoor activities and games, and limit the amount of TV time.