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Eur J Pediatr. 1989 Dec;149(3):221-2.

Sauna habits and related symptoms in Finnish children.

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Department of Paediatrics, University Central Hospital of Tampere, Finland.


Fifteen hundred randomly chosen Finnish children aged 0-15 years were studied by a questionnaire about their sauna habits and possible abnormal symptoms during or immediately after the sauna. A total of 1247 families (83%) answered. Almost all children visited the sauna (98.5%), most of them "with pleasure" (83%). Nearly half of the children were in the sauna as often as 2-3 times a week, and over 90% at least once a week. The children's sauna visits began quite early, in 70% during infancy. The time spent in a hot steam bath increased with age. Symptoms were rare and were not serious. Transient symptoms (dizziness, nausea etc.) were the most common. Of the children, 17% had some chronic or recurring disorder, most commonly atopic dermatitis or middle ear infections. In half of the cases of atopic dermatitis it became worse in the sauna. Sauna is a very common practice in Finland, also among children. It does not seem to cause any significant immediate harm to healthy children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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