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Monday, March 8, 2021

HMC: Protect kids from heatstroke by keeping them indoors

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As the heat index rises in Qatar, health officials are reminding residents to protect children and themselves from related illnesses.

Now that kids are out of school, parents should limit their activities so that they are in an air-conditioned environment, or in a shaded area if outdoors, officials said.

Dr. Khalid Al Ansari, director of Pediatric Emergency Services at Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC), also reiterated previous calls from officials not to leave children unattended in parked cars.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

This holds true especially for kids under the age of four, because they cannot perspire like adults to cool themselves down, he said. In a statement, Al Ansari added:

“If you park your car in the sun for around 10 minutes the temperature inside the car can rise by up to 10 degrees. It gets higher as time passes by.

If a child is left behind in such vehicle, he/she can easily develop heat exhaustion and that can result in heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.”

Leaving children in an air-conditioned car can also be dangerous, as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, he said.

Signs to look for

Common signs that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness include dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, breathing difficulties and a racing pulse.

Treat these symptoms by getting the affected person out of the hot area, having them lay down in an air-conditioned location and giving them plenty of cold fluids to drink, officials said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

If necessary, also remove thicker clothes and apply cold compresses to the body.

Untreated heat exhaustion can lead to the much more serious heatstroke, which involves losing consciousness, fainting or seizure activity.

In this case, 999 should be called immediately.

Weather forecast

Qatar’s weather will be hot and humid through at least mid-September, according to local forecasters.

However, the country is not expected to see any record-breaking highs, as Iraq and Kuwait recently did.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

That said, the average maximum temperature in Qatar in July still gets to be around 46C (115F).

And this week, Qatar saw temps climb to 48C (118F), according to Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) forecaster Abdullah Al Mannai. They are expected to fall slightly in the coming days:

Conditions will remain uncomfortable due to the humidity, but the temps are within the expected range for this time of the year, he told Doha News.

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