Heatstroke

hot-sunHeatstroke is an emergency condition. A person with heatstroke has an elevated body temperature caused not by illness, but by the surrounding temperature. Children can easily have heatstroke in the summer when playing out in the yard for long periods of time or if left in an overheated closed car for a just a short while.  Tragic deaths have occurred as a result of leaving a child in the car for “just a few minutes.” Never leave a child unattended in a closed car – never.

Children who are not dressed properly for hazy, hot and humid days (this is a classic “less is more” situation) also are targets for heatstroke. If overdressed, a child’s temperature can zip up to over 105 degrees Fahrenheit in a short time.  This is true for high school students as well as babies.

There are quite a few basic differences in the chemical makeup between children and adults. These differences make it harder for children to regulate body temperature than adults. Read what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has to say about this and take appropriate precautions.

The AAP states that if you ever suspect a child of having heatstroke, take his temperature with a thermometer (just feeling the skin or using temperature-sensitive tapes will not be accurate), remove extra clothing, fan him, sponge him off with cool water and keep him in a cool, shaded place. Once his temperature has dropped, take him immediately to a pediatrician or emergency room for evaluation.

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