Heat Illness in Children

It’s that time of year when it starts to get really hot, and while that usually means discomfort, exposure to high temperatures may have serious health implications for children. Know how to recognize heat illness in children such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion, as well as measure you should take should you child start exhibiting symptoms.

Normal, healthy kids will likely be extra thirsty, have a red face and have skin that’s hot to the touch after playing in the sun. As long as they look like they’re happy and enjoying themselves, don’t panic. Heat illnesses will affect your child’s behavior and well being.

Heat Exhaustion

The lesser heat-related illness, heat exhaustion is usually treatable at home. Weakness, nausea, dizziness, increased heartbeat, cold skin and an extreme flush all symptoms of heat exhaustion. Treat kids by providing them plenty of cool liquids, giving them a place out of the sun to rest, apply cold towels to the skin to help cool your child. Monitor his condition to ensure it doesn’t worsen.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the more serious brand of heat illness. Symptoms include fainting, a fever of more than 104 degrees, seizures, lack of sweat and trouble breathing. Provide immediate treatment for heat exhaustion – cool liquids, cooling baths or towels, shade – and seek immediate emergency treatment.

In many cases, heat illnesses are preventable. Encourage children to stay hydrated while they play, and encourage frequent rest breaks during hot hours. If possible, stay indoors in the most extreme heat.