HSE warn parents over signs of 'heat exhaustion' as temperatures soar 3 months ago

HSE warn parents over signs of 'heat exhaustion' as temperatures soar

"Children don’t sweat as much as adults do – so they find it harder to stay cool"

The welcome heatwave here in Ireland is set to continue across the Bank Holiday weekend and parents are being warned to keep an eye on their little ones.

Kids will no doubt be spending plenty of time outdoors over the summer months, so keeping them safe and happy in the warmer weather is imperative.

Health experts at the HSE have therefore shared some key advice for keeping children safe in the sun and avoiding heat exhaustion.

This is one of the main side effects of too much sun exposure and it happens when your body gets too hot.

Heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke if the body cannot cool itself down within 30 minutes, the HSE explains.

Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency and can be particularly dangerous for children.

A spokesperson for the HSE explained: "Children don’t sweat as much as adults do – so they find it harder to stay cool."

Children and infants are therefore at risk of developing heat exhaustion or even heat stroke in hot weather.


The HSE has urged parents to make sure that their children are staying hydrated.

Credit: Getty Images

They said: "When it's hot, you should make sure that babies and children drink enough fluids."

It is also important that children wear light, loose clothing on hot days and that they remain in the shade, out of direct sunlight, during the hottest hours.

The sun is at its peak heat from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, so it is important for children to stay in the shade during these hours.

For any children over the age of six months, it is recommended that factor 50+ suncream is applied.

They also added that it is absolutely crucial to never leave a child unaccompanied in a car during a heat wave.


The HSE explained: "A parked car can heat up by at least 10°C in just 10 minutes.

"Opening the window of a parked car does not help keep the inside of a car cool enough. Never leave a child in a car.

"Internal organs start to shut down when the body's temperature reaches 40°C. Death can happen when it reaches 41.7°C."

Parents have been warned of the signs to look out for when it comes to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

These include:

  • tiredness
  • irritability
  • intense thirst
  • weakness or fainting
  • cramps

Children suffering in the heat may also:

  • have no appetite
  • feel sick
  • vomit
  • have a headache
  • sweat profusely
  • have pale, clamming skin
  • have a temperature of more than 38 degrees

If you think your child may have heat exhaustion, you are advised to bring them into a cool space and remove unnecessary clothing.

To cool their body as quickly as possible, you can give them a cool drink - but not ice cold - or sponge them down with cold water.

If a child shows any signs of heatstroke you should call 999 or take them to the doctor immediately.


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