Causes of hypothermia in children and infants
Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature to below 35 degrees Celsius, and according to the World Health Organization, hypothermia in newborns is defined as a drop in body temperature below 36.5 degrees Celsius, and to understand the causes of hypothermia In children.
The mechanism of heat loss from the body must be clarified, as the speed of the body’s loss of heat when exposed to cold for a long period of time is greater than its production speed, which leads to a decrease in temperature in the human body, and it is indicated that exposure to cold for a long period of time also results in body consumption.
For the stored energy, which contributes to hypothermia, and in the context of talking about the mechanism of body heat loss, it is indicated that cold winds are one of the important factors for heat loss, as they remove the thin warm air layer surrounding the body.
And direct exposure to water or cold objects or contact Cold ground leads to the transfer of heat from the body to other cold factors, and it is noticeable that the body loses heat when exposed to cold water faster than when exposed to cold water.
Expose it to cold air. Likewise, heat loss from the body is faster in cases where the clothes are wet. It is worth noting that the body loses heat through the uncovered skin, as heat is emitted through it to the outside.
Young children are more susceptible to hypothermia than adults because they consume more calories or energy, and children can consume their energy stores while playing without realizing that their bodies are cold. Common causes of hypothermia for children include:
- Not wearing adequate clothing to protect the body when leaving the house in the winter.
- Falling into a river, a pool of cold water, or any other source of cold water.
- Wearing wet clothes in windy or cold weather.
- Suffering from extreme stress, or not getting their need of food and fluids in cold weather.
- Suffering from medical conditions that may force the patient to lie flat for a period of time, preventing himself from being able to protect himself from the cold, such as a person suffering from a stroke, or a person with diabetes who suffers from an episode of low blood sugar.
Causes of hypothermia in infants
Babies lose heat more easily compared to adults, and they can develop hypothermia if they spend their sleep in a cold room, and because their bodies do not have a store of energy yet.
Their bodies are not able to shiver so that the body temperature can be raised, and it is indicated that children Infants do not have the ability to regulate temperature as is the case in older children and adults.
And therefore their exposure to low temperatures, however slight it may be, may reflect negatively on the infant’s body temperature. Among the causes of low temperature in infants are the following:
- Exposure to cold weather.
- Staying in the water for an extended period of time.
- Not drying the baby after birth.
- Very bad infection: Such as sepsis, which may lead to an abnormal decrease in body temperature.
Tips for controlling the temperature in children and infants
The temperature in children can be controlled and the possibility of hypothermia reduced by following the following tips:
- Wear more than one layer of clothes, and keep warm clothes close, taking into account that the clothes are comfortable while the child is playing.
- Maintaining the temperature of the house above 20 degrees Celsius.
- Move around when feeling cold to increase body temperature.
- Make sure to eat warm foods and drinks.
- wearing appropriate clothing outside; Such as hats, gloves, coats, and shoes, preferably water-resistant in order to keep the body dry.
- Returning indoors every half an hour to an hour when playing outside, to warm up the body.
- Avoid placing the infant in a cool room while he sleeps, and it is worth noting that the use of additional blankets is not considered a solution, but rather this may pose a danger to the infant, as it may cause suffocation.