Keeping Kids Safe From Heatstroke

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It is important that parents be aware of what causes heatstroke, how to identify it, and what they can do avoid it.

Now that the hotter weather is upon us, parents and children will be spending more time outside. They will be taking family vacations and enjoying a few good days in the sun. While this all sounds like fun, the summer can hold dangers. Water safety is a big concern in the summer, with more children being around bodies of water can lead to drowning. The sun can also cause sunburn if children are not fully protected, and it can be painful and uncomfortable. The sun and heat can do a lot more than just turn the skin bright red.

Being outside in the hot water with direct sunlight can cause heatstroke in children and it can be a serious condition that needs to be monitored. However, it can go unnoticed if parents are not aware of what to look out for and when to seek medical advice. It is important that parents be aware of what causes heatstroke, how to identify it, and what they can do avoid it.

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Causes For Heatstroke

When it comes to heatstroke, prevention is the best practice but parents need to know what causes heatstroke before they will be able to prevent it. According to Mayo Clinic, heatstroke is caused by body overheating, which is why it is more common in the summer months. When someone is exposed to too much heat, it can cause their body temperature to rise to dangerous levels and the result is heatstroke. Heatstroke will occur when a body temperature reaches 104 F.

When heatstroke happens, the body cannot regulate its own temperature, if it is not treated, it could lead to brain damage and it may even be fatal. Children are at risk for this if they are overdressed for hot weather and if they do not drink enough water. When children are playing outside, they can get very focused on what they are doing and this can cause them to ignore signs that they are feeling too hot or that they are thirsty. They will often not want to stop to take a drink or cool off.

Symptoms Of Heatstroke

When children are outside playing after a while, they will often show signs of sweating and being tired, and some moms may think that there is a chance they have heatstroke. That is not always the case, and heatstroke has some defining symptoms that mom can watch out for. According to Kids Health, there are many signs that mom wants to watch out for if she thinks that her child has heatstroke.

Mom wants to watch out for a really bad headache, weakness, rapid breathing, and a fast heartbeat. While it may not seem to make much sense, if a child has stopped sweating, it is a sign that they are dehydrated and need to stop and take a break. Heatstroke can also cause nausea and children may throw up. In severe cases, a child could lose consciousness and it may even cause a seizure, in those cases, 911 should be called immediately.

Treatment

It is up to mom and dad to make sure their child is taking it easy in the heat because children will often have so much fun outside that they won’t stop to think to drink water or come inside to cool air when they are getting too hot. It is important that mom monitors her children when they are outside, and making sure they are taking breaks to drink some water or come inside to an air-conditioned space to cool off for just a few minutes before continuing to play.

However, everyone is human and if a child is showing signs of having heatstroke, there are some things that mom should do. According to NHS, if a child is showing signs of heatstroke mom wants to get them to a cool place as soon as possible. She can get them to lie down with their feet up and get them water or a sports drink to hydrate. She can also try and cool their skin with a sponge or by putting cold packs under their arms and on their neck. They should start to see improvements within half an hour.

911 should be called if they are showing more serious signs of heatstroke. If they still do not feel better after half an hour and they are still feeling hot to the touch, they need to be seen. If their temperature continues to be over 104 F and having difficulty breathing then medical professionals should be called. While it seems like it shouldn’t need to be stated, if a child ever losses consciousness, they require medical attention right away.

READ NEXT: Stop Covering Your Baby’s Stroller With A Blanket

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Kids Health, NHS

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