First aid treatment for heat stroke in children and babies

Essential first aid: How to treat heat stroke in children and babies

Children and babies are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses like heat stroke in the warm summer. As a responsible parent, caregiver, or educator, it's crucial to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide prompt and effective first aid treatment in such situations. In this blog, Rose will delve into the essential aspects of recognising and treating heat stroke in children and babies, emphasising the significance of swift action in potentially life-threatening scenarios.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and can be fatal if not promptly treated.
  • Children and babies are at a higher risk of heat stroke due to their smaller bodies, higher metabolic rates, and inability to regulate body temperature efficiently.
  • In the UK, cases of heat-related illnesses among children and babies have been increasing in recent years, highlighting the importance of awareness and preparedness.

Key definitions

  • Heat stroke - Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature regulation system fails, resulting in a dangerously high body temperature (usually above 40°C or 104°F).
  • Hyperthermia - Hyperthermia refers to an elevated body temperature caused by external factors such as hot weather or physical exertion.
  • Dehydration - Dehydration is a condition characterised by inadequate fluid intake, which leads to a lack of body water and electrolyte imbalance.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The UK's Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate first aid training and equipment, including specific provisions for childcare settings.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework outlines guidelines for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including measures to prevent and respond to health emergencies.
  • The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) offers best-practice guidance on managing heat-related illnesses in children, emphasising the importance of rapid cooling and medical attention.

Recognising the signs of heat stroke

  • Symptoms of heat stroke in children and babies may include flushed skin, rapid breathing, lethargy, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
  • It's essential to monitor children and babies closely during hot weather, primarily if they are engaged in physical activities or spending time outdoors.

First aid treatment for heat stroke

  • Move to a cool environment - Immediately move the child or baby to a shaded or air-conditioned area to prevent further heat exposure.
  • Remove excess clothing - Strip off any unnecessary clothing to facilitate heat loss from the body.
  • Cooling measures - Apply wet cloths or towels to the child's body and fan them to enhance evaporation and cooling.
  • Hydration - Offer small sips of water or a rehydration solution to prevent dehydration but avoid forcing fluids if the child is unconscious or vomiting.


  • Ensure that all caregivers and educators receive training in pediatric first aid, including recognition and management of heat-related illnesses.
  • Create a heat safety plan for childcare settings that includes strategies for preventing heat stroke and responding effectively in emergencies.
  • Educate parents and caregivers about the importance of hydration, sun protection, and monitoring children's activity levels during hot weather.


Heat stroke poses a severe risk to children and babies, especially during summer. By familiarising yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and knowing how to administer prompt first aid treatment, you can play a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of the young ones in your care. Remember, swift action can make all the difference in saving lives.

Consider enrolling in a pediatric first aid course today to ensure you're prepared to handle heat-related emergencies effectively. Click here to explore our comprehensive training programs designed to equip caregivers with the knowledge and skills they need to respond confidently to any medical situation.

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.

Essential first aid: How to treat heat stroke in children and babies - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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