Gouvernement Princier de Monaco
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08 July 2024 Press release

Keeping children safe in hot weather


Children are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses (dehydration, hyperthermia, heatstroke). It is therefore essential to prevent, recognise and treat these illnesses during summer.

  • It is highly recommended to keep children under one out of the sun

In general, children should not be exposed to the sun between noon and 4 pm. Prolonged exposure to the sun or a very hot environment increases the risk of sunstroke or heat exhaustion. Generally speaking, make sure you limit the length of exposure.

Regardless of the time or place of exposure, protect children from the heat by ensuring that they wear a t-shirt, a hat and ‘CE’ compliant sunglasses. Sunscreen (SPF 50) should be applied to all parts of the body that are not covered by clothes (face and body) and are exposed to the sun. Apply every two hours and after swimming.

This dual protection, combined with regular hydration, is the best tool against ultraviolet rays.

  • Drink regularly to avoid dehydration

Offer children something to drink regularly, even if they do not ask.

Children become dehydrated when they lose more liquid through sweating or urinating than they consume.

Dehydration can occur quickly in children under 6 months. Water makes up 75–80% of a newborn’s body weight and 65% of that of a toddler over one, making them particularly vulnerable.

In addition, dehydration increases the risk of heat-related illness.

Unusual weight loss, less frequent urination and darker urine can be signs of dehydration.

  • Hot weather causes easily detected symptoms

Symptoms, which may be multiple or limited to just a few, can be quickly detected in children:

  • high fever: a body temperature which can reach more than 40 degrees
  • dry mouth
  • rapid pulse
  • unusual drowsiness
  • hyperexcitability
  • hollow eyes and dilated pupils
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of consciousness

If you observe these symptoms, move your child into the shade, undress them and cool them down. Give them a drink and dampen their skin.

Action must be taken quickly: heatstroke, when left untreated, can lead to fainting and have serious consequences. If symptoms are severe and persist, call 18 (or 112).

  • Critical temperatures in cars

Even when it is relatively cool (15–20°C) outside, the temperature inside a vehicle can exceed 45°C. This can happen extremely quickly, and temperatures can rise by 10°C in just 10 minutes.

Children should therefore never be left alone in a car parked in the sun.

When travelling by car during a heatwave, make sure that your child is dressed in loose, light-coloured, cotton clothing. Ensure that they drink regularly and cool them down often, using a water mister, for example.



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