What Is Heat Illness? Heat illnesses, which is a term that refers to heat exhaustion and heatstroke collectively, are extremely common during the summer months, especially in children. As children play outside or participate in sports, they may not be paying attention to how their body feels and can get overheated before they realize it. While heat exhaustion is generally treated by hydrating and getting to a cooler area, heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that can be fatal if immediate medical care is not pursued.
Risk Factors for Heat Illnesses
- Advanced or young age
- Excess weight
- Chronic illnesses
- Some medications
- Poor circulation
How Can I Prevent My Child From Contracting a Heat Illness?While there are ways to successfully treat heat illnesses once they begin, preventing them from starting altogether are the best ways to do this. There are some basics for preventing children from becoming sick with heat in the first place.
Heat Illness Prevention
- Encourage them to wear loose and lightweight clothing when playing outdoors.
- Make sure children drink plenty of water and the occasional sports drink.
- Never leave children in a parked car, even if it is just for a few minutes.
- Try to schedule activities outside of the heat of the day.
- Get gradually acclimated to hot weather instead of immediately spending a lot of time outdoors.