Keeping children well when the temperature rises

High temperatures may harm children’s health with children under the age of four, children who are overweight and children taking certain medications at an increased risk of adverse effects. Additionally, some children with disabilities or complex health needs may be more susceptible to the negative impacts of high temperatures. Guidance on individual needs should be sought from school nurses and health visitors.

The impact on children of rising temperatures can present as heat stress (including one or more of the following: child’s behaviour is out of character or they show signs of discomfort and irritability) which will worsen to heat exhaustion (including one or more of the following: tiredness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, hot/red/dry skin and confusion) or heatstroke (including one or more of the following: a temperature of 40°C or above, red/hot skin, sweating that suddenly stops, fast heartbeat, fast shallow breathing, confusion/lack of coordination, fits, loss of consciousness) if not treated.

Read the government's guidance on responding to symptoms.

Much can be done to protect children from the adverse effects of high temperatures when they are outdoors and indoors. Outdoors, these protection measures include children avoiding vigorous exercise on very hot days, encouraging children to stay in the shade as much as possible, wearing light loose clothing and sunhats to avoid sunburn and applying sunscreen of at least factor 15 if children are playing outdoors for 20 minutes or more. Children should be provided with plenty of drinking water and encouraged to consume more water than usual when conditions are hot (outdoors or indoors).

Indoors temperature regulation is also important in hotter weather. Opening windows early in the morning allows stored heat to escape and reducing the opening of windows if the outdoor becomes warmer than indoors during the day. Minimising the use of artificial lighting and switching off electrical equipment when not in use also helps to regulate the temperature indoors. If possible, use classrooms that are less prone to overheating or adjust room layouts to avoid direct sunlight on children.

For more information and support you can contact Maura on the below details.

Contact Details:

Maura Flynn

Telephone: 03000 41 60 96


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