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Hot Outside, Cool in the AC? Can Extreme Weather Shifts Cause Fevers?

  • Many pediatricians believe that sleeping in air conditioning is healthier for infants and toddlers.
  • When it’s hot outside, using an air conditioner can reduce the risk of SIDS (crib death), but should still be used with caution.
  • Fevers and colds are caused by exposure to viruses, not because of the weather.
  • Car AC should only be turned on after it has been aired out.

Colds, fevers and other common phenomenon are often attributed to sleeping with the air conditioning on, but most pediatricians believe that using air conditioning is completely safe for infants and toddlers. So why do little ones get sick in the summer? Everything you need to know, right here.

Many pediatricians believe that sleeping in air conditioning is healthier for infants and toddlers than sleeping in a warm, damp and poorly ventilated room. And when it’s hot outside, as it is in the Israeli summer, using air conditioning can even help reduce the risk of SIDS (crib death). That being said, it is important to use air conditioning carefully and select an appropriate temperature, as

newborns and young infants cool down faster than adults. Contrary to popular myths, the air conditioner itself does not cause fever in infants.

 

Is my infant sick because of the air conditioner?

The biggest advantage of using the air conditioner is its ability to reduce the level of humidity and dry the air in a room. Its disadvantage is the difficulty involved in controlling the exact temperature it emits, especially in homes with central units. As such, when there’s an infant in the house, it is recommended that you select a pleasant temperature of 22-25 degrees and avoid placing the infant’s crib beneath an air conditioning vent. In addition, ensure that your infant’s room isn’t getting too cold and that it remains pleasant, but not chilly.

Many parents believe that using air conditioning  makes their children more prone to developing fevers and colds, but this is not exactly true. Illnesses, especially fevers and colds, are caused as a result of exposure to bacteria or viruses - not from the weather. That being said, when children spend more time in closed and air conditioned rooms than outdoors, they are at greater risk of catching viruses and bacteria from other children. As such, to prevent your kids from becoming sick (as much as possible), it is recommended to frequently ventilate rooms and avoid contact and playdates with sick infants and children.

Do not send sick children to school, in winter or summer. Even if they just have a fever, a full 24 hours fever-free must be “enjoyed” before returning to class.

Proper air conditioning use:

  • Ensure that the air coming out of the unit does not directly hit the infant, but is rather directed elsewhere.
  • Keep the air conditioner set at a temperature between 22-25 degrees.
  • If the room your infant sleeps in is cooler, dress them in long clothes. Infants tend to need one more layer than grown ups.
  • Dress your infant in comfortable and airy cotton clothes.

Air conditioning in cars

Take extra care when entering a hot car in the summer. When the temperatures rise, the car’s plastic components give off a carcinogenic substance. As such, when entering a hot car, open all windows FIRST and ventilate the vehicle well before turning on the air conditioner.

Your infant has a fever; should you turn on the ac?

On hot days, yes. When your infant has a fever, it’s important to air out the body, wipe away sweat and prevent the body from overheating. Moderately using the air conditioner, dressing your infant in lightweight clothing and reducing the humidity in the air will help your child recover and prevent their body from overheating. You can also use infant fever-reducing medications, which contain paracetamol.

Category Title : Fever in Infants
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