Do you know what hyperthermia is? You’ve probably heard of hypothermia, which is when the body gets too cold, but hyperthermia is different. Hyperthermia happens when your body gets too hot, and is often called heat stroke or heat exhaustion. This condition can be very dangerous to your health, but did you know that children are far more susceptible to heat stroke than adults?
Safety Counts – Ways to Prevent Child Heat Stroke
According to Safe Kids North Carolina, a child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s body. This combined with their smaller body mass makes them vulnerable to heat stroke. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make warm weather safer for your child.
- Frequent Hydration– Because children are small, they can sweat out a lot of their body water in little to no time. That’s why it is important to make sure they stay hydrated. Water is your best option here, but an occasional electrolyte drink like Gatorade or Powerade can also help.
- Regulate Activity– Kids aren’t as aware of their limits as adults, so they may not notice if they are running and playing too much. On hot days, your child should take regular breaks, which is a great opportunity to make sure they get some water and cool down in the shade. And don’t underestimate the weather, just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean it’s not still hot outside.
- Know the Symptoms– Fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps, and vomiting are all warning signs of heat stroke. If your child exhibits these symptoms, get them to a cool place to rest. If they complain of dizziness, headaches, confusion, or start hallucinating, call a doctor. Seizures, hot and dry skin, as well as high body temperature can also be a sign of heat stroke.
- Be Aware of the Risks– Though warm weather increases the risk of heat stroke, it is not the most dangerous source of hyperthermia. A car can heat up 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and their cabins can reach up to 180 degrees. This holds true even on days when it is just 70 degrees outside, and a cracked window and shade don’t often help.
The North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, LLP want you to remember that there is a lot you can do to prevent heat stroke related injuries and deaths—Safety Counts!