Heat stroke warning; children especially susceptible
As the temperature is on the rise, HMC’s Director of Pediatric Services Dr Khalid Al Ansari advises residents of Qatar to beware of possible illnesses that may befall them due to heat. Kids especially are prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke between the months of May till September.
“Some parents tend to leave their children unattended in vehicles parked outside under the sunlight without realising that the time that is required for anyone to get heat exhaustion or heat stroke in the car is much faster than if the person is sitting outside in the sun,” he said.
“If you park your car in the sun for around 10 minutes the temperature inside the car can rise by up to 10 degrees. It gets higher as time passes by. If a child is left behind in such vehicle, he/she can easily develop heat exhaustion and that can result in heat stroke, which can be life-threatening,” he added.
Children under the age of four were at an even higher risk, as they do no perspire as adults do, he says. Leaving children in an air-conditioned car without adult supervision, is dangerous too, as carbon-monoxide can come in through the AC vent.
Symptoms signaling the onset of a heat stroke include: Dizziness, tiredness, muscles, cramps, difficulty in breathing and racing heart rate.
Safety at home
During summer, there are mandatory precautions and checks required at home too.
A recent tragic event, that drew the city’s attention to home safety, is that of Baby Elizabeth Soffe. The six-month-old daughter of Sinead Soffe was severely injured when the air conditioner above her crib caught on fire. She is currently undergoing treatment in the UK, and has had her 13th surgery. (For donations, click here.)
Malfunctioning gas cylinders, fire safety equipment that hasn’t been checked, and faulty electrical connections are some of the problems to look out for. Please refer to our earlier article on home safety that provides tips from experts.
[Photo courtesy: Lawrence Whittemore via Flickr]