B.C. store owner spurred into action after seeing infant over-heat

Infants run the risk of over-heating as parents try to get outdoors

As temperatures climbed toward 37 C Monday afternoon, a mother and her newborn baby entered a Kelowna shop and a situation that had the earmarks of a medical crisis started to play out.

“The baby was a bit red and was having what looked to her like a heat-related seizure,” said Don Blevens, owner of Baby and Me, the shop where the incident occurred.

“We grabbed a cool cloth to wake the baby up … and the mom, who is a nurse, took it from there. The store was air conditioned, her car was air conditioned —it was just from (a short time in) the heat.”

The seizure was mild and the baby is in good shape now, said Blevens.

“But it woke us all up,” he said.

This heat, he said, is simply not safe for really young babies. Environment Canada and Interior Health have issued statements to this effect in recent days as a heat wave rolled over B.C. and toppled temperature records.

“Newborns for that first few weeks … they can’t regulate themselves,” Blevens said, adding that air conditioning at all possible times and just simply staying indoors is the best way to beat the heat for those early days and weeks of life.

READ MORE: HEAT WAVE

That, he acknowledged, is easier said than done.

In a car, it can be complicated to keep little ones cool because air conditioning doesn’t circulate in the direction of rear-facing seats — the recommended way for children to travel during their first two years of life, and beyond.

In strollers, one technique that has long since been used by parents is now known to cause more harm than good.

In the first six months of a baby’s life, the recommendation is to keep new skin out of sunlight, yet sunscreen is not recommended.

So, many mothers throw a muslin cloth over their buggies and get on with getting outdoors.

Warnings against that practice have been issued in recent weeks and Blevens decided Monday to do his own test, walking around with a doll wearing a thermometer and a buggy in a multitude of configurations.

“What we did is we took the temperatures in the shade to get a baseline, and we took multiple strollers and put them into the sun, with a little bit of a breeze,” he said.

The first outdoor reading with the doll inside went up a couple of degrees to 31 C.

Then he put the hood down and the reading went up to about 33 to 34 C.

With the muslin cloth offering what many mothers believe to be shade, the temperature then went up to 36 C in one stroller and 38 C in another.

“It’s a scary thing,” said Blevens. “It’s a common situation — mom will head to the park with their two-year-old and their baby, cover the baby up, because we think we need to keep them shady, but it’s dangerous.”

What parents really need to think about is air circulation.

“It’s done with good intentions …but there’s a lot of misinformation.”

Blevens said that he was even surprised that the muslin cloth added so much heat, noting “I learned a lot today.”

More than a dozen temperature records were broken on Monday, as a heat wave continued to stifle B.C.

The highest of the 13 records set was in Burns Lake, where the mercury hit a scorching 34.1 C, beating out a 2009 record of 33.3 C.

The oldest record beat was in Rock Creek, where 39.3 C beat out a 1929 record of 38.9 C.

Lillooet residents had to endure the hottest temperature, at 40 degrees.

Kelowna didn’t break any records, but Vernon did as the mercury inched above 37 C.

A heat warning remains in effect for much of B.C.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tyler Dozzi breaks national record, ‘running like a madman’

Terrace runner sets new time in Boston in his last U20 race

Most intervenor requests in crucial natural gas pipeline case rejected

At stake is whether gas pipeline to LNG Canada plant should fall under federal jurisdiction

VIDEO: RCMP stop traffic with candy canes to remind drivers not to drink and drive

Police want to prevent any bad choices from being made this holiday season

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Two projects to tackle Haisla housing shortage

B.C. government plans to build more than 280 homes across nine communities in the north

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter show heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Man charged after B.C house fire triggers high-grade explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall charged with causing bodily harm by failing to properly store explosives

Most Read