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heat-stroke-warning-signsWhat are the main Symptoms of Heat Stroke in a Child?

Heat exhaustion and Heat stokes are very serious medical emergencies.  This somber condition can strike anyone without warning; young and old alike.  Most common heat stroke warning signs for adults consist of an elevate body temperature with the absence of sweat, an extremely high pulse rate, red flushed complexion and nausea.  Sometimes these symptoms can rapidly progress resembling a heart attack.  In children, however, heat stroke symptoms are slightly different!The primary symptoms of heat stroke in children are an abnormally high temperature followed by high levels of anxiety. The child may also experience difficulty breathing and very strange behavior.  If these subtle symptoms are not detected timely, your child could suffer from more serious complications like seizures or coma.  Find out what causes heat stroke and how to recognize heat stoke symptoms rapidly and prevent more serious heat stoke complications!

Recognizing Heat Stroke in Children

Before going into detail about common heat stroke warning signs and complications. Let's discus common threads that can causes and who are at greater risk of a heat stroke.   First of all, anyone can have a heat stroke despite their age or how physically fit they may be!  In essence anyone who is unfamiliar with the common causes of heat stroke is at risk.

Being exposed to high temperatures with no protection from the sun's unrelenting heat is one way to cause a heat stroke.  This is particularly true for infants and elderly.  This is the main reason for properly covering or shading the head during hot weather. Its also an effective method for heat stroke prevention! Additionally dehydration plus over excursion form stringent physical activity are also common causes for heat strokes.

Variations in weather conditions during the summer is another factor that accelerates the number of reported heat strokes each year.  Primarily because certain weather conditions such as high humidity with temperatures above 100 degrees coupled with other risk factors, contribute to a higher rate of a heat stroke incidents. For this reason the CDC sends out heat stroke warning alerts frequently during the summer.

When these factors are at their highest level of alignment.  Particularly during the summer! Keen observation of your child at play in the summer sun is very important to detecting early warning signs of a heat stroke. For example; if you notice your child displaying odd and extremely anxious behavior.  Don't dismiss this behavior as normal hyperactivity!   Have your child come inside and cool off for a while.  If you notice his behavior changes after a few minutes out of the sun. There's a strong possibility he was suffering from heat exhaustion.

Most often heat stroke in infants comes from over dressing and wrapping the infant during hot weather. In this case the warning signs are a little harder to detect.  The difficulty in detecting heat stroke symptoms in infants is due to the lack of communication and physical interaction.   Basically infants can't talk. Hence, limiting obvious signs of heat exhaustion.    Here is a list of common infant heat stroke symptoms:

  • Red flushed skin that's clammy to the touch.
  • Extreme Irritability and uncontrollable tearless crying
  • Frequent spiting up and vomiting immediately following ingestion of baby formula or breast milk. This is typically caused dehydration and a high temperature.
  • In extreme cases of heat exhaustion the infant may show signs of sluggish responses or non responsive.

Because a heat stroke is a life threatening condition, if undetected.  It's important to become familiar with potential complications and prevention methods. While most fatal instances of heat stroke resulted in seizures, coma, and brain death. Extreme cases resulted to death! Conversely, with the severity of heat exhaustion. It's equally important for you to know heat stroke prevention methods.  And how to recognize the symptoms of a heat stroke. Therefore we've provided these few heat exhaustion prevention tips to review:

  • Keep young children and infants well hydrated during hot summer days
  • Always dress children in cool clothing and prohibit rigorous running and frolic when the temperatures are above 90 degrees F.
  • Dress infants lightly. Onesies or a t-shirt and a diaper are sufficient clothing for infants on hot summer days.
  • Don't use clothing that is made of vinyls, plastic, nylon, polyester or heavy knits wear
  • Also steer clear from bundling your baby in heavy quilts and blankets. Light receiving blankets will do just fine!
  • Set outside play schedules later in the day to avoid high afternoon sun exposure.
Ideally heat stroke prevention methods are the best weapons parents have against infant and child heat stroke.  Taking the time out to learn more about heat stroke warning signs and prevention methods by going online and talking to your pediatrician is the first step.
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