You might be unaware of the fact but night sweating is pretty common among the toddlers. Although it is nothing to be worried of, it does make the children uncomfortable, sometimes disrupting their peaceful sleep. However, in some cases, combined with other symptoms, night sweating can be a sign of some medical condition. The medical term for night sweating is sleep hyperhidrosis or nocturnal hyperhidrosis. Parents are made aware of the situation when they find the toddler’s bedding and clothes damp, or if the toddler wakes up in the night due to excessive sweating.
Why does it happen?
Toddlers have a high density of sweat glands. Also, that the ratio of sweat glands density to the skin’s surface area is higher in the toddlers than the adults. This means that the density of the sweat produced on the skin of a toddler is greater than that of an adult. The toddler’s sweat glands activate very quickly even with a slight rise in the ambient temperature. There are various factors that can trigger the sweat glands. Some of these factors are:
Hot and humid sleeping environment could be responsible for excessive sweating in the toddlers. Too many layers of blankets can also make them sweat.
Sweating in the night due to a fever is common as the body returns to the normal temperature by getting rid of the excess body heat.
Toddlers are vivid dreamers. Sometimes, these dreams can turn into night terrors and nightmares. These cause characteristic excessive sweating on head and face.
Some of the medical conditions that cause night sweating are: -
One of the symptoms of this condition is excessive sweating in the night. Sleep apnea is resulted by the temporary suspension of breathing due to an obstructed airway.
Congenital thyroid problems can lead to cold sweats at night.
Genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis, autism spectrum disorders, and congenital heart problems lead to nighttime sweating.
Night sweats are observed in leukaemia, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Note that nighttime sweating is not an exclusive sign of any of the medical conditions mentioned above. Other more obvious and glaring symptoms are likely to catch your attention first.
It is recommended to see your doctor when some other symptoms accompany nighttime sweating. These could be itching of skin, rashes and blisters on skin, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, inadequate diet and weight loss, snoring and gasping while sleeping, and other such signs and symptoms.
The treatments for dealing with chronic night sweating are: -
· Oral medications
Medicines called anticholinergic agents subdue the quantity of the sweat produced, but do not prevent sweating.
· Topical Ointments
Antiperspirants are the substances that block the sweat ducts leading to less sweating. Ointments contain these substances. These are applied once every 24 hours before the bedtime of the toddler and are usually sufficient to control night sweating in toddlers.
Other non-medical methods can also be tried to prevent nighttime sweating. These are: -
· Use Loose fitting nightwear to dress the toddler for bed and reduce the chances of sweating. Natural fibres like linen and cotton facilitate ventilation and soak sweat and let it evaporate quickly.
· Avoid tucking the toddler in layers of blankets and use light bedding. A lightweight blanket and a breathable comfortable bed sheet are a better choice if your child is prone to night sweats.
· Keep the room ventilated with adequate air flow and regulate the room temperature. Use a dehumidifier if the room is too humid; humidity causes sweating in toddlers.