We all know how hot it can get outside in the summer. Every year, it’s the same warnings: Don’t leave your children in the car, don’t leave your dog outside in the heat, don’t forget to wear the right kind of sunscreen.
Summer is a fun time for everyone, but there are precautions to take in making sure fun days of sun stay safe.
That’s why a Canadian mother is urging parents this week to be cautious about the heat, even when their kiddos are INSIDE the house.
This comes just two weeks after her 3-year-old daughter suffered from indoor heatstroke, which could have taken her life.
Jenn Abma went to wake up her daughter, Anastasia, from her afternoon nap when the toddler would not wake up.
“I had a gut feeling something was wrong,” Jenn recalled. “I went upstairs and it was extremely hot. It was like a sauna in there. The curtains were closed and the windows were open and she was in the direction of the direct sun. Being that hot outside, even with the window open, it’s not circulation—it’s just heat.”
Anastasia was overheating in her bedroom, and suffering from heatstroke.
Jenn called 911, and EMS arrived immediately. When they reached Anastasia, her body temperature had reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and first responders immediately began to administer glucose liquid to raise her extremely low blood sugar.
The toddler woke 15 minutes after emergency crews were able to cool her down.
Jenn, who does not have air conditioning in her home, says the temperature in her area that day was 84 degrees. It was warm, but not having a cooling system had never been a problem until now.
“This is her first summer in the house and I was unaware that bedroom got hotter than the rest,” she added.
Jenn says she’s thankful her baby girl is alright, but it’s scary to think of what may have happened had she not gone to wake her when she did.
“No it is not my fault this happened to her but it is hard not to blame yourself, this is a lesson learnt [sic] & hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because thy [sic] can be as dangerous as a hot car,” Abma wrote on Instagram. “Still I’m shook and I can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t go check on her.”
Since the scare, Jenn has invested in an oscillating fan, and heat resistant curtains for Anastasia’s bedroom to ensure she’s comfortable and cool while she sleeps.
According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, heatstroke occurs when a person’s body temperature is forced to rise unnaturally as a result of their environment. It can happen indoors like it did with Anastasia, or even somewhere as simple as laying out at the pool, where the sun is beating down and causing your body temperature to rise.
In addition to the surroundings, heatstroke also depends on a person’s body type. Smaller people—or children with less ‘volume” to them—will heat up quicker than, sa,y your average adult.
The good news is, you can have fun in the sun and even stay safe indoors with the right knowledge and precautions. Experts recommend:
- Avoid spending excessive amounts of time in overwhelmingly hot environments
- Adults should avoid caffeine and alcohol while spending time in direct heat.
- Hydrate with cold water and electrolytes to cool down the inside and refuel what may have been purged through sweat.
- Keep cool, wet washcloths and towels handy for when the heat gets to be too much.
- Don’t hesitate to call emergency services if someone isn’t responding “normally” after spending time in the sun or a hot area.
As for Jenn and Anastasia, they’ll be keeping cool year-round and sharing their story to help others do the same!