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Preventing Heat Stroke
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By Mazzenga Daniels
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By Mazzenga Daniels
June 30, 2013 11:06 p.m.

The summer is here and the heat that comes with it. We hear all the time to make sure you check on the elderly during a very extensive heat wave to help protect them from heat stroke. However, we should not forget about the very young children as well. They are not old enough to protect themselves against to heat stroke so we are here today to give you some tips and signs to tell if your child is suffering.

Heat stroke is a very serious thing for people of any age. Heat stroke is when your body temperature rises and the ability for your body to cool itself down shuts down. Babies, young children, and the elderly are easy targets for heat stroke. But anyone can get it. If your toddler is playing outside in the heat for a long period of time and becomes dehydrated, is dressed to warmly and/or gets sunburn, this can open the door to heat stroke.

In the beginning your child may exhibit signs of heat exhaustion. Your child may be showing signs such as thirst, fatigue, leg or stomach cramps, and cool, moist skin. If heat exhaustion progresses in to heat stroke some of the symptoms our child my experience are a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher — but no sweating, hot, red, dry skin, rapid pulse, restlessness, confusion, dizziness, headache, vomiting, rapid, shallow breathing, lethargy (Your toddler might not respond as strongly as usual when you call his name or tickle his skin, for example.) and unconsciousness.

If you suspect that your child is suffering from heat stroke it is very important to first call 911. Then you want to try and get your child’s internal temperature down. Undress your child and lay them down in a cool place, if you are outside and cannot get inside lay them in the shade. While you are waiting for the ambulance fan them and sponge them with cool water. Don't give him anything to drink. And though you may be tempted to give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol), it won't lower a temperature caused by heat stroke.

If your child is suffering from heat exhaustion, bring them in to a cool place and give them liquids. Do not give them anything that is too sugary because this could cause cramps and upset their stomach. You may want to give them a cool bath and keep them inside for the rest of the day. If your child does not improve, quickly bring them to the hospital.

Prevention is the best way to avoid your child getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Dress them in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Make sure they drink more fluids than usual on hot days and takes frequent breaks. When the temperature reaches really severe numbers, stay indoors. If you do not have air conditioning and your home is very hot, seek shelter in your public library, stores or some place that does so everyone stays cool and comfortable.

Enjoy the summer months and stay cool

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