It is extremely hot and humid in tropical countries like India, particularly during the summer months. There are times when heat waves prevail all through the country, making people suffer from extreme heat and humidity. So, in this type of climate, it is important to take good care of your health so that you can keep cool and not fall ill. It is vital to know that during the summer months, special care must be taken of your children because the immune system of your children is completely different from that of the adult’s body. So, when it comes to the matter of taking care of children in the summer months, parents need to be careful and should know the correct procedures and steps to follow to keep children healthy during hot and humid summer.
In summer, when the average temperature is quite high, it is quite usual to suffer from heat illness due to the scorching sun rays and blazing heat during the daytime. So, parents should know thoroughly how heat illness and dehydration can affect children during the summertime in India and the most effective ways to prevent such occurrences.
Dehydration is a condition of the body when the body is devoid of enough water. The human body cannot work well without water because a major portion of the body is composed of water. It might happen that during summer, under the blazing heat of the sunrays, your child might lose a major portion of the water content in his or her body and because of this might get dehydrated easily. If a child gets dehydrated after going out in summer, then they should be immediately taken to a comparatively quiet and cooler place and given plenty of cold water so that the body can replenish the water content.
All You Need To Know About Heat Illness And Dehydration
When a person goes out in the blazing heat of the sun during summer morning or afternoon, then people might fall ill due to such heat and develop heat illness and sunstroke. In mild cases, heat illness might dehydrate the person’s entire body and the person severely ill. In serious cases, it is found that the person might suffer from illnesses such as headache, extreme tiredness, and can even fall unconscious.
Heat illness can be divided into three broad divisions such as:
- heat cramps
- heat exhaustion
All the above three cases are severe cases of heat illness that might occur to your child after going out in the sun. When the signs of heat illness and dehydration start occurring in your children, make sure that your child’s body is rehydrated again, and in case of any severity contact the concerned health care expert as soon as possible, because if neglected, dehydration and heat illness might lead to the worst consequences.
Symptoms Of Heat Illness And Dehydration In Children
When children suffer from dehydration and heat illness, they will show certain signs and symptoms that will let you know to take your child to the physician. Some of those symptoms are as follows:
1. Heat cramps
Heat cramps are common in summer. When your child gets in scorching heat then there are risks of developing heat cramps, characterized by complete dehydration, severe pain & cramps in the hands, legs, muscles, and bone joints.
2. Heat Exhaustion
The signs of heat exhaustion are:
- excessive tiredness and dizziness
- nausea which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting
- chances of falling unconscious
- the sudden increase in heart rate
- pain and cramps in the muscles
- mild confusion
- extreme thirst
- heavy sweating
When your child gets heatstroke or sunstroke, then all the symptoms of heat exhaustion will be visible. Apart from this, there will be some other factors too, such as the following:
- chances of getting a high fever with a body temperature of around 104°F
- chances of becoming unconscious
- rapid, shallow breathing
- weak pulse or high heart rate
- dry skin
Treatment Of Heat Illness And Dehydration In Children
Whenever a child gets affected with heat illness and dehydration during summer, the parents must primarily consult the health care expert and take care of the child so that the child does not faint easily. Certain steps are to be followed for the treatment of dehydration and heat illness. Some such steps are given below:
1. Heat Cramps
If you see that your child is experiencing heat cramps, then you should do the following things:
- Make your child drink plenty of cold water
- Massage and stretch the cramped portion gently
- Do not let your child go out into direct sunlight on that day
- Take your child to a quiet and cooler place and let the child take a rest
- Sprinkle cold water all over your child’s face and neck
2. Heat Exhaustion
When the symptoms of heat exhaustion become prevalent in your child, follow the steps given below:
- Do everything that you can do to comfort your children from heat cramps
- Loosen their clothing
- Keeping fanning over the child’s face, skin, and neck
- Drink cold water.
Whenever it comes to the matter of heatstroke, the parents should consult their health care expert as soon as possible.
Symptoms Of Dehydration Among Children During Summer:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling hot
- Painful cramps of the abdominal muscles, arms, or legs.
Risk factors for dehydration-related
Your child might be vulnerable to dehydration and other heat-related illnesses in a hot or humid environment if he or she:
- Wears clothing or protective gear that contributes to excessive heat retention
- Rarely exercises
- Is it overweight or obese
- Is sick or had a recent illness, especially involving diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever
- Is taking certain supplements or medications, such as cold medicine
- Has a chronic condition, such as diabetes
Precautions To Be Taken Before Going Out In The Heat
When you are going out in the heat, or at the later hours of noon, when the sun is at the center of the sky, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid sunstroke or heat illness. If you are taking your child along with you, then added precautions are to be taken. Certain precautions are as follows:
1. Carry water bottles when you go out: When you are going out in the sun, it is crucial to carry a water bottle that will contain cold water so that you do not get dehydrated in excessive heat. You can also have cold fruit juices outside so that you can keep yourself hydrated in a healthy way. Do not forget to drink enough water both for yourself and for your child throughout the day.
2. Consume juice or fluids without sugar: Even if you and your children are advised to have healthy and fresh fruit juices when you go out in the heat, it is a mandate to avoid the consumption of sugar in the fruit juice you are sipping. This is because fruit juices without sugar will help to retain all the necessary nutrients in the juice, including vitamin C and if you do not provide sugar in fruit juices, you are likely to get better nourishment and hydration in the summer heat.
3. Foods to keep you cool and hydrated: In summer, apart from eating healthily, it is also necessary to stay hydrated and cool. There are certain summer foods that are meant for keeping cool and refreshed. Some of them are watermelon, strawberries, coconut water, bell peppers, tomatoes, light soups, curries, and broth.
4. Carry sunscreen and sun- protection: When you are going out in the summer heat with your little one, always apply sunscreen or use sunglasses. You can also use caps for yourself and for your children to get rid of the direct sun heat. In cases of emergency, carry paracetamols and pain killers in your bag, for if your child gets a sudden headache in the scorching sun.
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