Newborn Mechanisms of Heat Loss

Newborns can lose heat through four mechanisms:

Convection

When cooler air passes over a warm newborn.

  • Minimize heat loss by: Placing newborn away from direct a/c vents, fans or opens windows.

Conduction

Occurs when the transfer of body heat to a cooler solid object in contact with the newborn.

  • Minimize heat loss by: Cover surfaces with a pre-warm blanket or towel.

Radiation

Occurs when the transfer of heat to a cooler object not in contact with the newborn.

  • Minimize heat loss by: Placing newborn care areas away from windows, doorways and outside walls.

Evaporation

When the wet newborn’s skin is exposed to room air of any temperature.

  • Minimize heat loss by: Dry newborn immediately and replace wet blankets with warm blankets.

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