First aid for heat exhaustion in children and babies

First aid essentials: How to treat heat exhaustion in children and babies

In the scorching heat of summer, children and babies are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses like heat exhustion. As caregivers and responsible adults, it's crucial to understand how to recognise and effectively treat heat exhaustion in young ones. In this blog, Rose delves into the essential steps of administering first aid for heat exhaustion in children and babies, ensuring their safety and well-being during hot weather.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), infants and young children are at a higher risk of heat-related illnesses due to their bodies' limited ability to regulate temperature.
  • Due to climate change, heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense in the UK, posing a greater threat to children's health during the summer months.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats, leading to symptoms such as excessive sweating, weakness, dizziness, and nausea, among others.

Key definitions

  • Heat exhaustion - A heat-related illness characterised by dehydration and the body's inability to cool down adequately.
  • Hydration - Maintaining adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration is crucial to preventing and managing heat exhaustion.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidelines on preventing heat-related illnesses in the workplace, emphasising the importance of adequate hydration, rest breaks, and access to shaded areas.
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) mandates that childcare providers have policies and procedures in place to protect children from heat-related risks, including appropriate hydration and monitoring during outdoor activities.
  • Best practice recommendations from pediatric healthcare organisations stress the importance of dressing infants and young children in lightweight, breathable clothing during hot weather and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun.

Recognising heat exhaustion symptoms

  • Excessive sweating - Children may appear flushed and sweaty despite the absence of physical activity.
  • Weakness and fatigue - A child experiencing heat exhaustion may seem unusually tired or lethargic.
  • Nausea and vomiting - These symptoms can indicate dehydration and overheating.
  • Headache and dizziness - Children may complain of headaches or appear dizzy and disoriented.

First aid treatment

  • Move to a cool environment - Immediately relocate the child to a shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Hydration - Offer small sips of water or an oral rehydration solution to replenish lost fluids.
  • Cooling measures - Apply wet cloths to the child's skin or encourage them to take a lukewarm bath to lower body temperature gradually.
  • Rest - Ensure the child rests comfortably until symptoms subside.


  • Educate caregivers, including parents, teachers, and childcare providers, on the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion in children and babies.
  • Encourage proactive measures such as scheduling outdoor activities during cooler times of the day and providing ample fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Equip caregivers with first aid knowledge and resources to respond promptly and effectively to heat-related emergencies.


Protecting children from heat exhaustion requires vigilance, knowledge, and swift action. By familiarising ourselves with the symptoms and appropriate first aid measures, we can safeguard the well-being of the young ones in our care and ensure they enjoy a safe and healthy summer.

Click here to explore our comprehensive first aid training courses, which will equip you with the skills and knowledge to respond confidently to emergencies involving children and babies.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

How to treat heat exhaustion in children and babies - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Contact us

Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to Basket




Sold Out