Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Hats for the newborn infant.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 08 September 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:570
  1. D M Chaput de Saintonge,
  2. K W Cross,
  3. M K Shathorn,
  4. S R Lewis,
  5. J K Stothers


    The efficacy of a Gamgee-lined hat in reducing the rate of fall in rectal temperature of infants during the first 30 minutes of life was studied. The trial, which included 211 infants, was randomised, prospective, and controlled. One hundred and seven infants were exposed to overhead radiantheaters. Of these, only 30 had normal deliveries, so the analysis was confined to the infants who were not subjected to radiant heat, and in this group no conclusions were drawn about the efficacy of a hat or a radiant heater. In the 104 infants not subjected to radiant heat, body weight, initial rectal temperature, the application of hat, the environmental temperature, and the duration of exposure while naked were all found to influence measureably the rate of fall in rectal temperature during the first 30 minutes. Gamgee-lined hats should be routinely used to minimise heat loss, especially in small infants exposed at birth, during surgical operations, and during investigations necessitating prolonged exposure.