Spotting sunstroke in the under-5's: A quick guide
Prevention is always better than a cure, so slip, slap, slop and wrap this summer, encourage them to drink plenty of fluids and stay in the shade between 12 and 2pm. Just in case you do find your kids have been exposed to the sun for a long period, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
· Lethargy – If your baby or toddler seems unusually tired, and quite ‘floppy’ when you pick them up, this could be a sign of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
· Sweaty – You know your baby best, sometimes they are just the one who is always a bit sweaty in the sun. But if your child seems more sweaty than normal then, combined with other symptoms, this will be warning sign.
· Off their food – Can’t get baby to latch on? Has your toddler just turned away their favourite ice cream? Best to ring your GP for some advice as being off food is a clear sign something isn’t quite right, and if your baby is exclusively breast fed, or still getting all their fluids from formula, refusal could lead to dehydration.
· Dizzy – Not easy to spot in a baby but your toddler may complain of dizzyness and/or seem unstable on their feet. This is an early sign of dehydration.
What to do next
If you are worried about your baby you should seek immediate advice from your GP. If you can’t get to the surgery, give them a call and ask to speak to the nurse who can offer suggestions as to the next steps. If it’s the evening or weekend, then the Bakerfield Medical and Urgent Care Clinic can help. Located on 16a Bakerfield Place, Manukau, they’re open 8am to 8pm seven days a week. East Tamaki Healthcare located at 160 Bairds Road, Otara, is open until 11pm seven days a week.
Remember, it is FREE for children under 13 to see a doctor, and it’s always better to play it safe.