Heatstroke Hazard

The causes, symptoms and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

Young kids are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses -- they don't sweat as efficiently as adults and are often too busy playing to seek relief from soaring temperatures. On hot summer days, try to limit your child's vigorous activity to cooler morning or early-evening hours. If she does get heat exhaustion or heatstroke, follow these tips from pediatrician and Parents advisory-board member Mark Widome, M.D.

Heat Exhaustion

Cause
Strenuous activity in hot, humid weather causes the body to overheat and lose too much fluid.

Symptoms
Heavy sweating; weakness; headache; dizziness; stomachache; nausea; even vomiting.

Treatment
Take your child indoors, remove his clothes, wipe his body with a cold, wet washcloth, and give him cool water to drink.

Heatstroke

Cause
Prolonged exposure to extreme heat and humidity causes a life-threatening rise in body temperature.

Symptoms
Extreme lethargy; unconsolable crying; confusion or loss of consciousness; skin that is flushed, hot, and usually dry; fever of 104?F or higher.

Treatment
Call 911 immediately. Place your child in a partially filled tub of cool water or apply wet towels to his skin until medical help arrives.

07-01-2000

Parents Magazine

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