Today we turn to long-time FIRST member, Mark Klafter, father of Adam Klafter, affected with Epidermolytic Ichthyosis (formerly known as EHK). Mark has been an active participant in FIRST activities and a frequent contributor to our FIRST for Parents Group on Facebook. His input as a mentor to other fathers and affected families has been invaluable. Just this past week Mark, once again, gave thoughtful insight into when and how to recognize the signs of overheating. With the summer months quickly approaching, we thought it was an important message to share with our broader audience. Here is Mark’s input into a conversation regarding temperature monitors and recognizing your child’s signs of overheating:
“I would advise caution on the temperature monitors. My fear is that you will be lulled into a false sense of security. Generally kids with ichthyosis will be over heated long before you’d see a noticeable change in the actual body temp. Think about it this way. When you’re hot, you perspire. That’s the body’s way of regulating temp. Correct? It’s no different with your child or mine. The problem is that the moisture generally gets trapped under the thickened or scaly skin and doesn’t really evaporate, making them actually hotter, not cooler.
My advice would be to watch your kids closely when the weather is warmer. Each will have their own tell-tale signs. Some kids get really red cheeks. Some will start scratching their head more. It can be a variety of things. Eventually you’ll learn what to look for in your own child. And with younger children, who likely aren’t going to say anything until it can be too late, you need to teach them to recognize signs in themselves. And as always, for newer parents, I recommend being in the warm sun in small doses to start out, so you can see how they handle it. Maybe five minutes outside, five minutes inside, then graduate to 10 outside, 10 inside, etc. You’ll learn fairly quickly what they can tolerate, as well as what the warning signs of overheating are for your child. Just my two-cents.”- Mark Klafter
Stay tuned for more “pearls of wisdom” from Mark Klafter, as he will be contributing more insightful posts as the first “Guest Dad blogger” for FIRST!
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