Sweating in children is a common occurrence and not a cause for concern by itself. However, if your child sweats excessively all the time, it could be because of a treatable medical condition.
By Ashwin Dewan
Does your child feel hot and sticky all day? Do you find him dripping with sweat all the time? Of course, all of us feel uncomfortable in hot weather, especially summer. And sweating is a natural process during which perspiration is released from pores in the body. This is meant to keep the body cool during periods of stress such as exercise or when there is exposure to heat.
But, if your child is sweating excessively all the time and you worry that this unrelated to body temperature control, then, the cause could be a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
According to a 2015 study published in the Annals of Pediatric Surgery, "Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating than that required for normal temperature regulation". Though symptoms start in childhood, the condition is frequently under-diagnosed and untreated in children, says the study.
Also, there may be difficulty in identifying a specific trigger for the excessive sweating. This is because the condition could be triggered by many things — anxiety, spicy food, medication, exercise, hot weather or even, fever.
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“Sweating depends a lot on factors like the humidity, internal temperature, the level of activity and the level of stress. For example, if your child is feeling anxious or facing problems in studies, she could sweat more than normal,” says Dr Ramalingam, a paediatrician.
In fact, the doctor adds that not sweating should become a cause for worry, either. "Sweating is a compensatory mechanism employed by the human body to cool down. So, for parents of children who live in cold places, there is no need to worry in case they think their children are unable to sweat," he adds.
If your child sweats profusely, even if there is no rise in temperature and without indulging in strenuous physical activity, you may attribute it to a disease. Problems in the sweat glands can also lead to excessive sweating. It can also be caused by neurological or endocrine disorders, says the study in the Annals of Pediatric Surgery. In such cases, it is advisable to seek the help of a doctor.
Dr Ramalingam adds that parents of children who sweat excessively need not worry. "Stay calm, keep your child comfortable and seek a doctor’s help, if required," he adds. If your child feels uncomfortable all the time. Or, if the excessive sweating is affecting her quality of life, then do seek help.
With inputs from Dr K Ramalingam, Director and HOD Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital, Noida
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