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Keeping it Cool: Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses in Kids

Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation and occurs when the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to regulate its temperature. A person suffering from heat stroke may have a body temperature as high as 106 ° F. Other symptoms vary but may also include:

  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

If heat stroke is suspected, seek medical assistance immediately and take the following action as recommended by the CDC:

  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Rapidly cool the victim using whatever means possible. Examples include immersing him in a tub of water, placing him in a cool shower, spraying him with cool water from a garden hose, or, if the humidity is low, wrapping him in a cool, wet sheet and fanning him vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue to cool the victim until his body temperature drops to 101-102 ° F.
  • If medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the victim fluids.


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