We all know how hot it can get outside in the summer. Every year, it’s the same warnings: Don’t leave your children in the car, don’t leave your dog outside in the heat, don’t forget to wear the right kind of sunscreen.
Summer is a fun time for everyone, but there are precautions to take in making sure fun days of sun stay safe. That’s why a Canadian mother is urging parents this week to be cautious about the heat, even when their kiddos are INSIDE the house.
This comes just two weeks after her 3-year-old daughter suffered from indoor heatstroke, which could have taken her life.
Jenn Abma went to wake up her daughter, Anastasia, from her afternoon nap when the toddler would not wake up.
“I had a gut feeling something was wrong,” Jenn recalled. “I went upstairs and it was extremely hot. It was like a sauna in there. The curtains were closed and the windows were open and she was in the direction of the direct sun. Being that hot outside, even with the window open, it’s not circulation—it’s just heated.”
Anastasia was overheated and suffering from heatstroke in her bedroom. Jenn dialed 911, and EMS was dispatched right away. Anastasia’s body temperature had reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit when they arrived, and first responders began administering glucose liquid to increase her dangerously low blood sugar.
The toddler woke 15 minutes after emergency crews were able to cool her down. Jenn, who does not have air conditioning in her home, says the temperature in her area that day was 84 degrees. It was warm, but not having a cooling system had never been a problem until now.
“This is her first summer in the house and I was unaware that bedroom got hotter than the rest,” she added. Jenn says she’s thankful her baby girl is alright, but it’s scary to think of what may have happened had she not gone to wake her when she did.
“No it is not my fault this happened to her but it is hard not to blame yourself, this is a lesson learnt [sic] & hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because thy [sic] can be as dangerous as a hot car,” Abma wrote on Instagram. “Still I’m shook and I can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t go check on her.”
Since the scare, Jenn has invested in an oscillating fan, and heat resistant curtains for Anastasia’s bedroom to ensure she’s comfortable and cool while she sleeps According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, heatstroke occurs when a person’s body temperature is forced to rise unnaturally as a result of their environment.
It can happen indoors like it did with Anastasia, or even somewhere as simple as laying out at the pool, where the sun is beating down and causing your body temperature to rise.
In addition to the surroundings, heatstroke also depends on a person’s body type. Smaller people—or children with less ‘volume” to them—will heat up quicker than, say your average adult.