For those of us who live through cold cold winters it’s important to remember that our little babes and tots feel the cold a lot quicker than we do. Hypothermia can happen very quickly and as parents we need to react without delay to help warm up our little precious children. Here is a snippet of information on hypothermia that is included in my Safe Parent manual for first aid workshops I have developed for parents and caregivers. Remember to stay warm and stay safe! I always suggest that you share this information with your baby-sitters to educate them on important topics that matter to you and your family! Interesting in learning other first aid techniques? Leave me a comment below & I will follow up with a future post! What is hypothermia? Hypothermia is a lowering of the body’s core temperature. This can occur through exposure to wet clothing, falling into cold water, staying outside too long in cold weather, inappropriately dressed for cool weather and can even occur throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Any lowering of the core temperature is considered hypothermia. Hypothermia can occur by the exposure to varying environments and may not always be due to icy cold weather. Hypothermia may occur from prolonged swimming in chilly waters on a long day. Add a little breeze and the body’s internal temperature may begin to quickly decrease. Hypothermia can easily be avoided with some TLC and appropriate attire for the weather conditions. Ensure that your infant and child stay dry. Specifically their hands, feet and head areas. As adults it may not feel too chilly or damp, but keep in mind the size of your infants body size and ability to adapt to climate changes and temperature. Enjoy all seasons, environments and events but as a SAFE PARENT know when it may be better to stay indoors for a cuddle and stories. Signs and Symptoms (may be any or a combination of the following) ? Shivering ? Mild cyanosis ? Shivering ? Complaining of cold ? Cyanosis ? Slurred speech ? Acting “drunk” ? Slow breathing ? Shock ? No shivering ? Digression of ABC’s ? Irregular pulse ? Possibly unconscious Treatment
- Remove the infant / child from cold source
- Remove any wet clothing
- Slowly warm the infant’s / child’s core body temperature, warm the core before the extremities. Share your body heat with your infant or child, stay close and wrap a blanket or two around you and your child.
- Monitor ABC’s (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
- Do not apply hot water bottles, or hot bath to the infant or child. This can create a shock to the body and may worsen the situation.
- Contact EMS (Emergency Medical Services) or proceed to your local hospital as required.