How to Protect Your Kids from Heatstroke

By: Renown Wellness Team

May 15, 2024

Mother placing little newborn baby boy son in a car seat baby carrier in a car

Summer is around the corner, bringing heightened risks of heatstroke, especially for children who cannot regulate their body temperature as efficiently as adults. Infants are particularly vulnerable and may not express discomfort, so never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

Top Tips for Preventing Heatstroke

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations

Keeping Your Baby Cool in the Back Seat

  1. In hot weather, it is crucial to keep your baby cool and hydrated by using a car seat cover or towel over them to reflect the sun's rays. Dress your baby in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  2. Keep an eye on your baby's skin color. Move them to a cooler place if they look too red or flushed.
  3. Keep the temperature at a comfortable temperature for you, not for your child.
  4. Keep the windows cracked open for ventilation and ensure nothing is blocking the airflow from entering or exiting the vehicle.
  5. Dress your infant appropriately for their environment, including appropriate head and neck coverings, to keep them cool and protected from sunburns.
  6. Ensure you have enough fluids to last an hour before getting out of the car or use bottled water if possible.
  7. Never leave your child unattended in a car.

Steps to Follow if You Suspect Heatstroke 

  • Call 911 immediately. 
  • Cool the victim – Get the person to a shady area, remove restrictive clothing and cover skin with sheets soaked in ice-water, and place ice packs in the arm pits and groin. 
  • Have the victim drink cool fluids, preferably an electrolyte-containing sports drink. 
  • Monitor body temperature with a thermometer but stop cooling efforts after temperature has dropped to 102 Fahrenheit.

Baby Safe Classes
These classes help prepare parents for emergencies that may occur in baby’s first year.

Safe Kids Worldwide
Did you know heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities in children? “On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.”

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