The sunny mornings in the cold weather lures us into a comfort zone and we wrap ourselves in the warmth of our blankets. Winters are blissful and comforting for us. But with winters, also comes an unpleasant event for the children. Children often get sick in the winters despite our perpetual efforts to keep them safe and sound. Apart from colds and coughs, other health problems can also affect your child in extremely cold weather, such as hypothermia.
What is Hypothermia?
- It is difficult for the little ones to regulate their body temperature, and the natural heat escapes their bodies much faster than it does for us. The smaller the baby, the more heat escapes the body.
- Sometimes the body temperature of a baby falls below normal due to exposure to cold weather, this condition is known as hypothermia. It happens mostly in cases where little kids play outside without wearing proper clothing or they get wet.
- It can be dangerous because when the body temperature is too low, the organs don’t work properly and sometimes, even fail. In such extreme cases, death can occur.
What are the Signs of Hypothermia?
The signs and symptoms of hypothermia depend on its severity. The symptoms of hypothermia appear slowly and might affect the way your baby thinks and reacts. If your child shows any of the following symptoms, you must take the precautionary measures and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:
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- Slurred speech
- Weak pulse
- Confused memory or memory loss
- Increased respiratory rate
- A weak cry
- Cold and reddish skin
- Low energy levels
- Poor feeding
- Inability to simple tasks
- Slow breathing
In severe cases, it may progress into a coma which can result in death
What are the Causes of Hypothermia?
Conditions that lead to hypothermia include:
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- Sudden falling in the water and staying there for long.
- Not wearing appropriate winter clothing, especially when outside.
- Poor heating in the house, or
- Too much air conditioning.
- Not able to get out of wet clothes or move to a dry location.
How Can you Prevent Hypothermia?
There are numerous ways you can protect your child from hypothermia:
- Cover their heads, face and neck with a hat to prevent the heat from escaping their body.
- Generally, infants and young children require one more layering than adults during the winter season. Toddlers should be properly dressed for the chilly weather.
- Keep notice if they are shivering, as that is the first sign of hypothermia.
- Ask the child to come inside the house frequently if they are outside to warm themselves. They should only be outside for 30 minutes maximum at a time.
- Don’t let the children sleep in a cold room, instead make them sleep in a room with a good heating system.
- Remember that overheating is also not good for a child, so according to the temperature in your house, remove or add layers of clothing.
Hypothermia can be deadly if left untreated. If your baby’s temperature drops to 95°F or lowers that means that your child is suffering from hypothermia. You have to get medical assistance as soon as possible in such a case. The signs of hypothermia appear slowly so you have to be extra careful with your child. Look out for the signs and take care of your child!
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