Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

In the sweltering heat of Arizona were the temperatures outside have been climbing in the 110-118F it is no surprise that the incidence of heat exhaustion and heat stroke is on the rise. There comes a time when the body will be unable to maintain normal temperature when exposed to excessive heat. We have normal mechanisms that prevent this from happening. We become very thirsty and we start to sweat to help bring our core temperature down. Sometime people do not notice this especially children because they are having so much fun under the sun.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • mild dehydration

  • core temperature from 100.4 to 104F

  • profuse sweating

  • thirst, nausea, vomiting

  • confusion

  • headaches

  • feels faint or has collapsed

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • usually with severe dehydration

  • core temperature greater than 104F

  • flushed with hot dry skin

  • dizziness, vertigo, fainting, confusion, delirium

  • loss of consciousness

  • may be in shock

First Aid for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

  • bring child/adult indoors

  • undress

  • have them lie down and elevate the feet slightly

  • put the child is awake place cool bath water or sponge bath the child immediately if outside spray with mist from a garden hose

  • if the child is alert give frequent sips of cool, clear fluids

  • if child is vomiting turn to side to prevent aspiration

  • monitor the child's temperature

  • call the doctor if this is not resolving

Prevention is the best medicine

  • teach children to drink lots of fluids before and after playing outside even it they are not thirsty

  • make sure they wear light-colored loose fitting clothes

  • hats , eye wear for protection

  • only participate in heavy activity before 10 am in the morning and after 6pm

  • tell children to come indoors immediately if they feel overheated

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