Your kid's body heats up 5 times more than yours, UAE doctors warn
Dubai - Parents should ensure that their children wear sunscreen and drink lots of fluids and juices.
With temperatures soaring across the country, doctors are advising parents to take special care of their children to avoid heat strokes. They warned that a child's body heats up three to five times more than an adult's.
Dr Nada Al Mulla, family medicine physician and head of Nad Al Hammar primary health centre, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said children and the elderly are prone to heat stroke and exhaustion in the summer.
She advised residents to avoid outdoor activities between 9am and 6pm and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothes. "Parents should ensure that their children wear sunscreen and drink lots of fluids and juices," she said.
Diabetics, pregnant women and epilepsy patients should also avoid the outdoors. Dr Al Mulla advised residents to avoid tanning between 10am to 3pm, adding that they should wear sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids, avoid direct sunlight and wear big hats while at the beach.
Dr Noobi Koya, specialist paediatrician, Canadian Specialist Hospital, said children are more likely to be affected by extreme temperatures since heat tolerance is proportional to body size. "Children are smaller and weigh considerably less than adults, making them much vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat strokes," she said.
Dr Vivek Mundada, paediatric neurologist at Medcare Women & Children Hospital, Dubai, said children usually have higher production of metabolic heat per kilogramme of body weight because they have a higher basal metabolic rate than adults. "Also, younger children have a higher surface area to the mass ratio. Hence there is a greater rate of heat absorption in hot environments," he said.
Other reasons include children having less sweat production than adults, which usually helps in cooling process. "If not appropriately rehydrated, children are more vulnerable to tissue damage due to dehydration."
Leaving your kid in the car even for a minute can prove fatal
>In 10 minutes, a car's temperature can rise over 20°C
>Leaving the windows open does not help slow the heating process
>Inside a stationary car while the engine is running and the AC is on, small emissions of toxic gases could enter the vehicle
How to prevent heat strokes in kids
>Hydration: Provide plenty of water to children during hot temperatures, especially when they are active. Make water more accessible so that they can keep themselves hydrated
>Clothing: Light-coloured, loose fitting clothes are ideal for hot temperatures. Make sure you don't overdress the child, especially infants by rolling them in blankets
>Shade/air-conditioning: Remind children to look for shade and rest often when they are outside. If they are playing sports, ensure increased number of breaks or resting periods
>Cool down: If your child is feeling hot, help him/her cool off with a damp towel, water mist or a regular bath