My sister took her 4 week old baby to the pool to let him explore. He wore sun block and she kept her back to the sun. While swimming she noticed the center of her baby’s head had sunk in. She panicked called the pediatrician, who was busy, and tried Googling what was going on with her baby.
This can be quite alarming to see happen and if not handled properly can lead to greater medical conditions. The soft spot sinks in when a baby is dehydrated. This can be seen when a baby has been in hot weather, not getting another liquids, or going through the flu. It is important that if you are breastfeeding to continue to and even increase the fluid intake. Formula fed babies should also continue the formula intake to ensure good hydration.
“Children’s skin can be quite sensitive to heat. Nursing moms often discover this, especially in the summertime, when their baby’s face turns red where it is against the mother’s skin. This redness comes from blood vessels in the area dilating to cool the skin down. Cooling the skin usually makes the rash disappear within hours, or even sooner. Prickly heat (miliaria rubra) is a type of heat rash that lasts.
Heat cramps are common with physical exertion. They usually affect the calf or hamstring muscles.
Heat syncope is fainting due to heat/dehydration.
Heat edema is swelling of the hands or feet from heat. People sometimes get this condition when initially exposed to hot weather.
Heat tetany is tingling, especially of the wrists. Hyperventilation in hot weather can cause heat tetany.
Heat exhaustion usually entails a body temperature of 101 to 104, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fainting.
It is important to recognize and treat heat exhaustion immediately.
Heat stroke is very serious. A person’s temperature rises over 104 degrees and he or she has an altered mental status. 50 percent of those with heat stroke die from it. There are two types of heat stroke: exertional, with profuse sweating; and classic, in which the skin is hot and dry. Classic heat stroke builds up over days and is most common in infants and in the elderly. It is a true emergency.
The smaller the child, the less likely he is to be able to tolerate heat, especially if he is already a bit dehydrated or has a fever, and if there is poor air circulation.
Heat injuries can occur at any age. Sports and physical activity are generally beneficial and healthy for adolescents; nevertheless, heat injuries are among the leading causes of sports deaths.”(1)
*If you are concerned seek medical advice and attention. This blog is just to help inform what may be going on with your infant and is not to substitute that of the medical profession.
1. Gavigan C. Healthy Begins Here. June 30, 2010. http://blogs.webmd.com/health-ehome/2010/06/heat-stroke-is-no-joke-keep-hydrated-this-summer.html.