Heat Stroke In Infants - Reasons, Signs & Treatment

Heat Stroke in Babies

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Gunjan Baweja (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

A baby can get sick due to numerous environmental reasons or internal body function problems. One key aspect of measuring health is monitoring the baby’s internal body temperature. Much like an adult’s body, if the temperature goes out of control, your baby could have a heat stroke. In these circumstances, if you aren’t careful, your baby could suffer grave consequences. One of the first steps to combating this condition is understanding it.

Video: Heat Stroke in Babies – Causes, Signs & How to Treat Them

What Is Heat Stroke?

A human body has a regulated internal temperature, this keeps the blood flowing, organs healthy, and helps keep you fit. Your baby’s body is still growing, but it still has an automated system to keep the temperature in check and a system for cooling down. When this system is compromised, your baby is at risk of an unregulated rise in body temperature. This can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. When your baby’s body begins to overheat beyond control and doesn’t cool down, it is known as a heat stroke.

Causes of Heat Stroke in Infants

A key aspect of fighting a heat stroke is to understand its causes. Here are a few of them:

  • Dehydration
  • Extremely high external temperature
  • Malnutrition
  • Stuffy or suffocating clothing
  • Lack of oxygen in hot environments.

Causes of Heat Stroke in Infants

It is recommended that you consult a doctor if your baby happens to have a heat stroke or if you want to learn more about heat strokes in babies. Nonetheless, prior knowledge will help you gain better clarity on the condition. Read on for some signs and symptoms that can help you identify a heat stroke and seek prompt medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Beyond understanding the causes of a heat stroke, it is also extremely important to understand how to identify if your baby is having a heat stroke. Here are some of the symptoms of baby overheating:

  • A fever that is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit in which your baby does not sweat is one of the signs of a heat stroke. In Celsius, this temperature would be above 39 degrees.
  • If your baby is extremely tired or fatigued for long periods of time in the summer months or after spending time in a hot room, she could be having a heatstroke.
  • If you suspect your child of having a heat stroke, ensure you check her pulse for one minute. If it is rapid, it could be a sign of a heat stroke.
  • It could a heat stroke if your child has skin that is burning hot and is red and dry.
  • Dizziness or disorientation are signs of a heat stroke, especially in hotter temperatures.

It is important to understand that other symptoms could manifest in the form of headaches, restlessness, vomiting or loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are relevant to your baby, please see a doctor immediately.

Also Read: Summer Foods to Prevent Dehydration in Babies

Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

It is highly recommended that you call an ambulance and have your baby checked at the nearest hospital in case of a serious heatstroke. Here are a few things you can do for minor heat strokes:

  • Dress your baby in loose clothing.
  • Have your child lay under a fan or indoors in a room with air conditioning.
  • Pat down your baby’s forehead and shoulders with a cold, wet cloth.
  • Put the baby in an ice bath.

Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

For further information regarding treating minor heat strokes, contact your primary care physician.

Also Read: Dehydration in Infants

Prevention of Heat Stroke in Babies

It can be extremely difficult to predict heat exhaustion in babies. Here are a few ways to avoid them:

  • Dress your baby in loose clothing.
  • Keep the child indoors if it is especially hot outside.
  • Keep the child hydrated.
  • Ensure you expose your child to warmer or hotter weather gradually.
  • Limit the time your baby spends outdoors during the peak of the afternoons.
  • Sit with your child in a room with fans and air conditioning.
  • Avoid spicy foods during the hotter periods of the year.

Heat strokes can be extremely dangerous if precautions aren’t taken. Talk to your doctor about the steps you need to take to avoid a heat stroke in your baby. Remember, prevention is the best cure.

Also Read: Baby Sweating While Sleeping- Causes & How To Deal With It

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