Heat Stroke: Doctors Say It Happens Quickly in Children

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

The dog days of summer aren't just hard on pets -- doctors say children also have a tough time dealing with searing temperatures.

According to Kidsandcars.org, 49 children died from heatstroke in 2010.

Doctors say most heat stroke cases present themselves in children under two.

They say treating the condition as quickly as possible is key in avoiding brain damage.

Says Archbold Hospital's ER Doctor Allen Lee, "With any symptoms at all -- it's an immediate concern to us. Kids' symptoms with heat stroke are much more likely to be neurological in basis than others."

Doctors say it only takes minutes for a child's body temperature to rise -- and tricks like cracking the window usually don't help, as the inside of a car can increase by 40 degrees in the sun.

Heat stroke can be prevented by dressing a child in loose-fitting clothing and limiting play during the hottest part of the day, from about one to four in the afternoon.

Doctors say a child with heat stroke symptoms-- such as an altered mental state or racing heart -- should be brought to the emergency room immediately.

Children who are getting close to the point of heat stroke should be put in a cool place to rest and given plenty of fluids.


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