Early Signs of Summer Stroke, Precautions & Healing Home Remedies for Child
Created by Dr. Carmin Uppal Updated on May 27, 2020
Being a doctor and hands-on mom to my 3-year old boy, I always take precautions and make arrangements well in advance to deal with the upcoming weather transitions and harsh climatic conditions. With mercury soaring to as high as 44 degrees Celsius, it becomes pertinent to take some precautions and prepare home remedies to deal with scalding summers. Having followed this and preparing in this direction, perhaps you will be that one power puff mom ready with all of your armor to shield your young one right away!
Heal Sun Stroke in Children
Before going on to the remedial measures let us make ourselves conversant with Heat Stroke/ Summer Stroke. Children’s body surface area to weight ratio is more compared to adults. This means their body does not have enough fluids compared to the surface area available for evaporation. This makes them particularly more susceptible to dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Early Signs & Symptoms of Summer Stroke in Kids
Early signs and symptoms of summer stroke in children that you should be vigilant enough to identify:
- Dry/ cracked lips and dry tongue
- Lack of energy
Types of Heat Illnesses:
Heat Illnesses is of 3 types with characteristics. Read this
- Heat Cramps: Painful cramps can occur on the stomach, legs, and thighs.
- Heat Exhaustion: Dizziness (feeling of things moving around), vomit, headache, muscle pain, and weakness.
- Heat Stroke: A temperature of 104 degrees or higher, disorientation, nausea (A feeling to vomit), vomit, flushed red face, No sweat, shortness of breath and unconsciousness.
Immediate Summer Stroke Precautions & Home Remedies
Here are a few immediate home remedies & precautions to heal sun-stroke. Read this
- Remove excess clothing, if any. Get the child to bare minimum clothing. Can wear cool wet clothes, single layer.
- Immediate shift to a shady and cooler area, preferably air-conditioned.
- Cold sponging or a gentle body wash with water.
Hydrate with home-made ORS
- Method: In one liter boiled and cooled water add 8 teaspoonful sugar and one teaspoonful salt. Your ORS is ready. Drink small sips at regular intervals.
- Keep an eye on the urine output. If the urine is dark yellow, it indicates that the body is in need of more fluids.
- The body loses its ability to regulate its temperature after a heat illness. If fever persists, it should be brought down immediately.
Summer Stroke Precautions:
How long does it take to recover from heat stroke and dehydration? Read this
- Wear a cap when going out in the Sun.
- Carry your water bottle along and keep it handy at all times.
- Acclimatize to heat before going out and playing in the sun. For sports buffs, start to go out in the morning or evening after 6 pm.
- Drink ample water and drinks described in the subsequent section.
- Give water every now and then to your children; even if they are not thirsty. Children do not feel thirsty until they loose2% of their weight as sweat. Keep a track of their weight in peak summers. Any weight loss may indicate dehydration.
- As per international standards, a child weighing 40 kg should drink up to 150 ml of fluid at a given time. This is a good size drink for a child of that weight. A kid drinks roughly 30 ml in two gulps.
- Another crucial precaution is to avoid locking your children in the car with the glasses rolled up and engine and cooling system off. If the outside temperature is 33-34 degrees, the temperature inside may surprisingly rise up to 51 degree Celsius in a mere 20 minutes. This may take dehydration to serious levels.
- Children should urinate regularly and the urine color should not be dark yellow.
- If the child suffers from cramps, keep the limb in the air, gently stretch and massage. Drink ORS to restore electrolytes.
Home Remedies to Heal Summer Stroke
- Homemade ORS as described in the earlier section. It restores fluids and electrolytes quickly, thereby moderating the effects of stroke.
- Ample drinks as per the child’s taste should be administered like homemade fruit shakes and smoothies, buttermilk sweet/salty, Mango panna, Rooafza, Flavored milk (with cardamom/choti elaichi), Sattu.
- Avoid giving ready to drink packs available in the market. They are extremely high in sugar content which does no good in dehydration.
- As per WHO some drink products available in the market have a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar in them that is larger than the daily limit for children aged 4 to 5 years.
- If body temp is high, roast fennel (saunf), and ground it coarsely, make a powder and give one-fourth teaspoon to the child twice in a day.
- A decoction can also be prepared using fennel/saunf.
- It is a great coolant, keeps constipation at bay and is good for the digestive system.
Food-stuffs to Fight Against Summer Heat:
- Rice: when given in moderate quantity, it cools the body, is light to digest and does not cause lethargy.
- Varieties like poha/ beaten rice, puffed rice can be used.
- You can always Google out for interesting recipes made out of rice.
- Lentils: Moong and Toor dal are a great protein source, light to digest. Sprouted moong dal is loaded with bountiful of vitamin A boon for the geeks!
- Vegetables: Cucumber (Kheera), Spinach (Palak), Pointed gourd (Parwal), Round Gourd (Tinda), Long gourd (Lauki) are the vegetables to focus on.
- Fruits: Pomegranate (Anar), Amla, Banana, Figs (anjeer), Grapes, Guava, Melon, Mussambi (sweet variety), Pear, Custard apple (Seetaphal), Water Chestnut (Singhada), Water Melon. These should be used when making shakes etc.
- Homemade butter and Ghee in moderate doses act as the catalyst in keeping heat stroke at bay for they strengthen the body, keep it cool, improve complexion and do not create oxidants like other oils.
- Some Ayurvedic medicines for strength and heat handling may be giving on a doctor’s advice.
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