Hot Flashes In Children - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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Have you ever observed your child experiencing intense outbreaks of sweating, causing their face to turn red? These could be signs of hot flashes in children. Additionally, some may also experience fever-like heat in several parts of the body. Though witnessing your child profusely perspiring could be alarming, hot flashes are seldom serious.

Hot flashes can be caused by various factors, from hormonal changes at puberty to diet problems and chronic pain. Hence, they are treated depending on the underlying cause.

Read this article to learn more about hot flashes in children, including the possible causes, signs and symptoms, and ways to treat them.

In This Article

What Are Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes and night sweats are collectively called vasomotor symptoms. Although both involve sweating, a hot flash is felt mostly during the day while night sweats occur at night. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth or intense heat that spreads all over the body and is accompanied by perspirationiXProcess of secretion of fluids from sweat glands or flushing. Although this feeling spreads throughout the body, it is prominent in some particular regions of the body, viz., neck, and head regions. There may also be dizziness, headache, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and a feeling of suffocation, symptoms similar to panic attacks (1). So, if your child is suffering from hot flashes, they will have a sudden outbreak of sweat in their upper body.

What Causes Hot Flashes In Children?

Hot flashes may result from certain medical conditions or due to a reaction to some medicine. Following are some of the common reasons:

1. Hormonal changes

There are sudden changes in the hormonal levels at the time of puberty. The hormones at puberty undergo change and spike, resulting in hot flashes. The reproductive system also undergoes changes both in girls as well as boys. Thus, hot flashes are common occurrences at this stage of development.

2. Body thermostat

Changes in the thermostat can cause hot flashes in children
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Image: Shutterstock

Changes in the thermostat or body temperature of your child’s body; the hypothalamus becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls temperature regulation, blood pressure, appetite, and hormonal changes.

3. Side-Effects Of Medication

If your child is on medication for some medical condition such as chronic illnesses, then you will observe hot flashes. Some medications stimulate hormonal changes that can lead to hot flashes. Even if your child stops taking her medicines, the symptoms will be visible for some time. However, if the feeling of flashes continues for a considerable duration, then please consult your doctor.

4. Diseases

There are certain disorders that also cause hot flashes in children. For instance, if your child has epilepsyiXNeurological condition resulting in sudden, recurrent fits and unconsciousness , type 1 diabetes, and is prone to seizuresiX A medical condition that triggers an involuntary and uncontrollable surge of electrical activity in the brain , they may also experience hot flashes during the seizures.

Additionally, conditions such as thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, Pituitary Disorders such as hypopituitarism, and Menstrual Disorders may also cause hot flashes.

5. Phobia

A phobia is a feeling of fear for a thing or a situation. If your child is suffering from any phobia, then it is likely that they will have a sudden outbreak of perspiration and the feeling of warmth all over their body.

6. Spicy food

These days kids gorge on spicy and junk food. Such foods also aggravate the condition of hot flashes.

Hot flashes usually stop within four to five years in children. But if they persist for longer consult your pediatrician, as it might signal an underlying medical condition.

US-based board-certified physician Dr. Laura Purdy says, “Some risk factors that increase the likelihood of hot flashes in children include obesity, stress, and anxiety. In addition, hormonal conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism may cause hot flashes.”

Symptoms Of Hot Flashes In Children

The frequency of child hot flashes varies, i.e. two children will show different levels and durations of hot flashes. Also, your child himself will have varied levels of hot flashes i.e. either a few or many in a day depending on the causes of such flashes. Also, hot flashes are more common during the night than in the day.

Following are the common symptoms that your child will experience during a hot flash:

  1. Increase in the heartbeat.
  1. A warm feeling spreads in the upper parts of the body.
  1. The skin color becomes red during a hot flash as if your child is blushing.
Reddened skin may indicate hot flashes in children
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Image: Shutterstock

  1. When the hot flash subsides, there is a feeling of chilling in the body.
  2. If your child has a hot flash, then he will start sweating. Also, perspiration is mostly on the upper body.

Treating Hot Flashes In Children

If your child experiences hot flashes, then your doctor will suggest a treatment depending on the causes and symptoms of your child. The doctor will also take into account any past medical history of your child and will suggest the treatment accordingly. The most important treatment modality is avoiding the triggers (such as caffeine). Also, prefer light clothing over tight dresses.

1. Antidepressants

If your child shows signs of hot flashes then, they will be given antidepressants in small doses. Examples of some antidepressants are:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR, Pristiq)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Gabapentin
  • Pregabalin.
  • Clonidine

2. Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy for frequent attacks of hot flashes in kids
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If your child has frequent attacks of hot flashes, then a dose of hormones estrogeniXA hormone that regulates the growth of long bones and develops female sex characteristics and progesteroneiXA steroid hormone that plays a key role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and early stages of pregnancy will prove beneficial. However, if you have a family history of uterus or breast cancer, then estrogen therapy for your young girl is not a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any long-term effects of hot flashes in children?

It is usually the underlying cause of hot flashes in children that could have long-term effects. For instance, hot flashes due to anxiety disorders may cause long-term complications. These disorders may also cause impaired concentration and physical symptoms such as muscle strain, sweating, and nausea (2).

2. How can parents support their children during hot flashes?

Parents must understand what hot flashes are and what triggers them to support their children. They should offer cold water, cool towels, and comfortable clothing to provide comfort. It is essential to encourage their children to have a healthy lifestyle by promoting exercise, a balanced diet, and stress-reducing activities.

3. Are hot flashes in children more common in boys or girls, or do they affect both equally?

The existing medical research does not exhibit gender predilection for pediatric hot flashes.

4. Can stress or emotional factors contribute to the occurrence of hot flashes in children?

Stressful and emotional situations may cause anxiety, fatigue, and weakness which are often associated with episodes of hot flashes (2). Frequent hot flashes require a doctor’s consultation for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

5. Are any specific age groups more prone to experiencing hot flashes in children?

The available medical research and statistics have not noticed any age-related predilection of hot flashes in children.

6. Are there any ongoing research studies or advancements in understanding and treating hot flashes in children?

Small-scale research has shown that evening primrose oil, black cohosh, soy, vitamin E, and acupuncture may have a mild effect on improving symptoms of hot flashes (3). Further research will be needed to validate their efficacies.

In most cases, hot flashes in children could be due to harmless factors and might not be cause for concern. If your child shows the symptoms of hot flashes, try to identify the triggering factors. If the hot flashes are accompanied by other concerning signs, consult a doctor. The healthcare provider would usually treat hot flashes based on the symptoms, and hence, the treatment may or may not include medication. Simultaneously, try to control the triggering factors and engage your child in relaxing practices to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes.

Infographic: Potential Causes Of Hot Flashes In Children

Hot flashes (usually caused by hormonal changes) are common in children, especially as they approach puberty. While the infographic below highlights other possible causes of hot flashes in children, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider if your child is experiencing discomfort or other unusual symptoms.

likely reasons for hot flashes in children (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Hormonal changes, including puberty or thyroid issues, can trigger hot flashes in children.
  • Hot flashes in children can lead to excessive sweating and facial redness.
  • A rapid heartbeat is a common indication of hot flashes in children.
  • Hot flashes can cause irritability and mood swings in children.
  • Antidepressants and hormone therapy may be effective in alleviating hot flash symptoms.

Experience relief from common menopause symptoms like hot flashes by exploring causes, signs, and solutions in this enlightening video. Arm yourself with knowledge and seize control of your well-being today!


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How to deal with panic attacks
  2. Hot Flashes
  3. Hot Flashes
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