Heat Stroke in Kids: Symptoms, Causes, and ER Treatment


Heat strokes are life-threatening conditions that occur when your body temperature increases over 104° Fahrenheit or 40° Celsius. Heat strokes often result from overexertion in hot and humid conditions. The symptoms of heat strokes include confusion and loss of consciousness or seizures. Heat stroke emergency treatment is required because if left untreated, the situation results in organ failure, coma, and fatalities.

Symptoms of Heat Strokes

Heat exhaustion starts gradually but, if left untreated, progresses to a heat stroke. The body temperature rises to 40° Celsius or higher. The symptoms of its strokes in children include severe headache, weakness and dizziness, confusion, rapid breathing and heartbeat, loss of consciousness, seizures, little or no sweating, flushed, hot, and dry skin, and increased body temperature.

What to Do If Your Child Has a Heat Stroke?

If your child has symptoms of heat stroke, visit the emergency room near me without delay. If your child is exhibiting heat exhaustion symptoms like increased thirst, weakness and extreme tightness, muscle cramps, fainting, nausea and vomiting, irritability, headache, increased sweating, cool and clammy skin, and an increase in body temperature below 40° Celsius, you can administer heatstroke first-aid by bringing the child indoors immediately.

Merely bringing the child indoors will not serve the purpose because you must undress the child and have them lying down, raising their feet slightly. If your child is alert, place them in a lukewarm bath or spray lukewarm water over them. Alert and coherent children can receive frequent sips of cool and clear fluids. However, if your child is vomiting, turn them over on their sides to prevent choking.

Taking Preventive Measures Help

During the summer, when temperatures are scorching, you must teach children to drink plenty of liquids during any activity when playing around in hot sunny weather. Water or clear fluids are best to keep your child hydrated during playful activities, even when they are not thirsty.

Ensure that your kids Wear light-colored loose clothing in hot weather, reminding them to look for shaded areas and often rest while outdoors. Children love participating in strenuous activities outdoors during the hottest hours of the day. It helps if you can get your kids to stay indoors between 11 AM and 3 PM. Teach your children to return indoors immediately whenever they feel overheated.

Causes of Heat Strokes

Heat strokes occur as a result of exposure to a hot environment which is also called non-exertional heat stroke because being in a hot environment results in a rise in core body temperature. Non-exertional heat strokes generally occur after exposure to hot and humid weather for extended periods. These heat strokes usually occur in older adults and people with chronic illnesses.

Strenuous activity is, known as exertional heat stroke, causes an increase in body temperature because of intense physical activity. Anyone working, exercising, or playing in hot weather like children can get exertional heat strokes. However, it is most likely to occur when children are not accustomed to high temperatures.

Who Is Prone To Heat Strokes?

Heat strokes can affect anyone; children and the elderly are at risk because their bodies cannot regulate temperature effectively. In addition, athletes, soldiers, and people required to work physically in hot weather are also susceptible to heat strokes.

Treatment for Heat Strokes

Prompt treatment for heat stroke is essential in hospitals, and if waiting for an ambulance, you must try to cool your child as best possible.

  • Apply ice packs to the neck, groin, and armpits.
  • Encourage your child to drink mildly salted fluids like sports drinks or salted water.
  • Have your child lie down in a cool, shady, well-ventilated environment.
  • Mist them with water, blowing air across their bodies while monitoring their breathing carefully.
  • Do not provide any medications, including aspirin or acetaminophen.
  • Remove any tight-fitting or heavy clothing.

When you arrive at the hospital or the 24-hour ER seeking heatstroke treatment, your child might receive cooled intravenous fluids through a vein in the arm, ice baths, cooling blankets, medication to prevent seizures, and supplemental oxygen. Healthcare providers stop cooling treatments when the body temperature reaches about 38.9° Celsius. The time your child may have to spend in the hospital depends on the severity of the heatstroke and how well their organs are functioning.

If your child exhibits the signs of heatstroke, you benefit by taking them to Express ERs for remedial treatments immediately instead of wasting time.

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