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Heat Exhaustion

Think Prevention!  During hot, humid weather, the body’s internal temperature can rise and can result in heat exhaustion and heatstroke.  If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke, which requires immediate emergency medical care and can be fatal.  

Teach children:

  • Always drink plenty of fluids before and during any activity in hot, sunny weather – even if they are not thirsty.
  • Wear light colored loose clothing.
  • Only participate in heavy activity outdoors before noon or after 6pm.
  • Go inside immediately if they feel overheated. 

Signs and Symptoms:

Heat Exhaustion:

  • Severe thirst
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea, sometimes vomiting
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Elevation of body temp, but less than 104 degrees

Heat Stroke:

  • Severe, throbbing headache
  • Weakness, dizziness, or confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased responsiveness or loss of consciousness
  • May not be sweating
  • Flushed, dry, hot skin
  • Elevation of body temp to 104 degrees or higher

What to Do:

***If the child has a temp of 104 degrees or more, or shows any symptoms of heatstroke,

Seek emergency medical care immediately.*** 

In cases of heat exhaustion and while awaiting help for a child with possible heatstroke:

  1. Bring the child indoors or into the shade immediately.
  2. Remove the child’s unnecessary clothing and place the child on his or her side to expose as much skin surface to the air as possible.
  3. If available, place ice packs on the groin, neck, and armpits. Do NOT immerse the child in an ice bath.
  4. Cool the person's entire body by sponging or spraying cool (not cold) water, and fan the person to lower the person's body temperature.
  5. If the child is alert, give frequent sips of cool, clear fluids.
  6. If the child is vomiting, turn them on their side to prevent choking.
  7. Monitor the child’s temperature.