Signs Of Heat Exhaustion And Heat Strokes In Kids
Kids have a ton of energy. I think we can all agree on that. Summers can be taxing on parents and guardians since school is out and there is about 8 hours of extra energy that has to be burned somehow during the day. In the Southeast, summertime means hot temperatures, long days, and lots of ice-cream for many families. However, as a parent or guardian, how can you know for sure if your little ones are getting too hot in the sun this summer? Here are the most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion in kids that you need to be aware of.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion in Kids
- Extreme increased thirst (seemingly un-quenchable)
- Weakness or sudden and extreme lethargy
- Cool and clammy skin
- Muscle cramps
If left as they were, kids can even reach the point of heat stroke. While we normally associate the word “stroke” with an elderly person, young people are just as susceptible if left in harsh conditions for too long without proper action taken. Here are some signs and symptoms of heat strokes in kids.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Strokes in Kids
- Dizziness and immense confusion
- Irregular heart beat or one that won’t slow down
- Hot skin with no sweat
- Body temp of 105 +
- Seizures or unconsciousness
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, it’s very important to act quickly and efficiently. Immediately bring your child indoors to a climate controlled environment. Call 911, and remain calm. While waiting on medics to arrive, undress your child, have him or her lie down, and locate a cool beverage and encourage them to sip slowly. Never put your child into an ice bath or extremely cold water as this could send their body into shock.
Now that you know some of the most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat strokes, let’s talk about how you as a parent or guardian can help prevent them from happening. Being proactive this time of year is essential for your children’s health and safety in the summer heat. Here are some proactive things that you can do to help educate your family about heat safety.
- Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water, even if they aren’t thirsty at the time. This is especially important around pools. When in the water, it is easy to forget to drink water as your body feels “cool” most of the time. However, if not hydrated, your child can become dehydrated quickly!
- Remember that light colors don’t attract as much sunlight/heat as dark colored clothing does. Keep this in mind when picking out an outfit for the day if you plan to spend some serious time outdoors.
- Encourage breaks. Make them fun! Take an ice-cream or popsicle break every hour or so while your little ones drink plenty of water inside out of the heat. This will help prevent them from ever reaching the overheating point.
Kids will be kids and they are pretty resilient. However, they aren’t invincible. As a parent or guardian, you’ll be better prepared to take on the summer heat and all that it brings if you put to use these safety and prevention tips as well as being aware of the signs and symptoms of problems. Enjoy your summer! If you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help! Give our office a call.