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Do you know how to recognize heat-related summer ailments?

As your children play outside this summer, keep them safe with sunscreen and bug spray, and make sure they drink plenty of fluids, especially on hot days.  As the temperatures rise, be aware of serious summer ailments, including:

Heat exhaustion- Symptoms often begin suddenly, sometimes after exercise, heavy perspiration and inadequate fluid intake. Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Rapid, weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, moist, pale skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Heat cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine

If you suspect your child is suffering from heat exhaustion, get them out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location. Lay them down, elevating their legs and feet slightly. Have them drink cool water and monitor them carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke, which is extremely dangerous.  If they have a fever higher than 102, or if they faint, act confused or have a seizure, dial 911.

Heatstroke – More severe than heat exhaustion, heatstroke is often a result of exercise, hot weather and inadequate fluid intake.  Young children are at high risk of heatstroke.

The main signs of heatstroke are a high temperature -higher than 104 – with personality changes and confusion.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Elevated or lowered blood pressure
  • Lack of sweating
  • Irritability, confusion or unconsciousness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fainting

If you suspect heatstroke, move the child out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space and dial 911.  While waiting for medical assistance, cool the person by covering them with damp sheets, spraying them with cool water and having them drink cool water.

Make sure your nanny is aware of these symptoms and knows what to do if they occur.  Have your children avoid excess activity outside on hot days, and give them plenty of fluids every day.

We welcome your additional suggestions on how to recognize heat-related summer ailments.

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