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. 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.
What Are Hot Flashes?
A hot flash is a feeling of warmth or intense heat that spreads all over the body and is accompanied by perspiration 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, and a feeling of suffocation. 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 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, then you will observe hot flashes. Some medicines 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.
There are certain disorders that also cause hot flashes in children. For instance, if your child has epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, and is prone to seizures, they may also experience hot flashes during the seizures.
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.
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 common during the night than in the day.
Following are the common symptoms that your child will experience during a hot flash:
- Increase in the heartbeat.
- A warm feeling spreads in the upper parts of the body.
- The skin color becomes red during a hot flash as if your child is blushing.
- When the hot flash subsides, there is a feeling of chilling in the body.
- 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.
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)
2. Hormone therapy
If your child has frequent attacks of hot flashes, then a dose of hormones estrogen and progesterone 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.
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.