Search icon

Early years

31st May 2022

3 Steps to preventing heat stroke in babies and small children this summer

Melissa Carton

Ireland is set for good weather this week.

While this is fantastic, keeping small children safe in the sun is more important than ever.

Babies and young children can dehydrate and become ill from intense heat far quicker than adults.

This doesn’t mean you need to keep your child under lock and key as there are many ways to prevent them from getting heat stroke.

Stock up on sun cream

Both of my children have been fortunate enough not to inherit my pale skin, but that still doesn’t mean they can go out without being slathered in sun cream.

Even if the sun doesn’t burn your skin the UVA can still cause the damage that can lead to skin cancer.

A short amount of time, less than half an hour, is fine for children to spend outside without sun cream as it helps their intake of Vitamin D but aside from that, children should always wear a strong factor when playing outdoors.

Keep them hydrated

One of the biggest causes of heat stroke is dehydration.

The sunshine may be fabulous but it also makes us lose fluids faster than we usually would, and for small children, this can be dangerous.

Make sure that you always have water on hand when you’re spending time outside with the kids to prevent any unnecessary loss of hydration.

Stick to the shade

During the good weather, kids love nothing better than playing outside, but they should be kept well shaded.

The sun is at it’s highest between 10 am and 4 pm and during these times is more likely to cause damage.

During these times keep children shaded either by the natural environment, like trees, or with sun hats and parasols. Pop up tents are also fantastic at keeping young children protected from the sun if you’re spending a lot of time in your garden.