Sun safety is a hot subject and I remind parents that all under 4’s is unable to regulate their own heat, which means that it is your responsibility to ensure they are protected. This includes providing an ongoing supply of cold drinks, ensuring that they are wearing suitable clothes, engineering that they spend ample time out of the direct sunlight, and reapplying sun lotion regularly.
If your child feels unwell in the evening, you need to ascertain whether they are suffering heat exhaustion or heat stroke, as there is a big difference. If they have lost their appetite, look pale, are sweating, confused and suffering body cramps, it is most probably heat exhaustion which is a reaction to the body’s loss of salt, water, and minerals. They need to drink lots of water followed by a weak salt solution (1 tsp salt per litre of water) and see a doctor straight away (even if appear to recover quickly).
If your child is not sweating but suffering a severe headache, restless, confused and showing flushed, hot and dry skin – this could be a result of heat stroke. This is a serious condition and means that the body’s inbuilt thermostat is failing – call 999 immediately then take the patient to a cool place and, if possible, wrap the child in a cold wet sheet. Continue wetting the sheet until the child’s temperature has returned to normal (37 degrees) and then replace the wet sheet with a dry one. If you do not have access to a sheet, then fan the child whilst sponging them down with a cold flannel until the temperature has returned to normal.