We have already discussed that it is not only in the months of July and August that children can suffer from heat stroke , because there can be exceptionally hot days all year round. Nevertheless, it is true that the chances of experiencing it increase, above all, in these summer months. We detail below 10 tips that you should follow to avoid heat stroke.
As detailed in the Information Dossier `Children in cars and childhood heat stroke´ (Spanish), put together by Fundación MAPFRE, heat stroke - or thermal shock - represents one of the most severe cases of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body overheats due to high temperatures or physical overexertion. This halts the normal functioning of different organs.
It should be remembered that heat stroke can occur not only if you leave children alone in a car in the full glare of the sun but also if they are exposed to high levels of humidity and temperatures without adequate protection or hydration.
Here are 10 tips from Fundación MAPFRE and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics to prevent heat stroke:
- You need to be extremely vigilant of small children, especially those under one year old, and those suffering from any chronic disease that impedes them from sweating, as well as those on certain types of medication such as antihistamines.
- Children must be continuously hydrated, even if they don't ask for water. If they are still breastfeeding, they should be given more frequent feeds.
- Drink small quantities every 15 and 30 minutes if engaging in sport.
- Avoid intense exercise at the hottest times of the day. Games with children should be gently paced.
- It is advisable to wear loose-fitting, light and breathable clothes in light colors. Children should protect their head by wearing a cap. Frequent wetting of the body or bathing is also recommended.
- Children should not spend much time in the sun or exposed to high temperatures.
- Of course, you should never leave a child alone in a car or sit with them in a closed parked car.
Special advice for in the car
- Follow the acronym `AAA´:
Anticipate and never leave a child in the car even for a minute, locking the vehicle so they cannot get in.
Accustomize and create habits or routines. Put some kind of object or item in the back of the car next to your child. Putting something they might need at the destination usually works. Naturally, the object should not be anything that could pose a danger in the event of braking sharply.
Act. Call 112 if you see a child alone in a car.
- Teach children that they must not play inside or in the immediate vicinity of cars .
- Keep vehicle keys and remote controls out of the reach and sight of children. This avoids them getting into the car without your knowledge.