Heatstroke claimed the lives of 52 children in 2018 alone. With record-high temperatures across the United States, and in recognition of National Heatstroke Prevention Day on July 31st, Carter Mario Law Firm offers safety tips to prevent more deaths as a result of heatstroke.
Common Causes of Heatstroke Among Children
Heatstroke, the most severe form of heat illness, is a life-threatening medical emergency. Because children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults, it is important parents are aware of the common causes of heatstroke including:
- Overdressing – Particularly in heavy, non-breathable clothing that doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate easily.
- Extreme Physical Activity – Working or playing sports in extreme heat can cause heat production to exceed heat loss.
- Becoming Trapped Inside a Car – Since 1998, more than 790 children in the U.S. have died from heatstroke when left unattended in a vehicle. Of those deaths, 54% occurred because the child was forgotten by a caregiver, 26% occurred because a child gained access to an unattended vehicle, 18% occurred because a child was intentionally left in the vehicle by an adult, and 1% occurred for unknown reasons.
Ways to Prevent Heatstroke
Fortunately, heatstroke is preventable and there are small precautionary steps you can take to avoid heatstroke from occurring including:
- Wearing Breathable, Lightweight Clothing
- Drinking Lots of Fluids, Especially Sports Drinks to Replenish Lost Salt
- Avoiding Strenuous Activities
What To Do If You Suspect Your Child is Suffering Heatstroke
If your child has been in the sun and is complaining of any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical help immediately.
- Severe headache
- Temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher
- Weakness or dizziness
- No sweating
When heatstroke occurs, a child’s body temperature can spike to 106°F or higher which can cause brain damage or even death. Prompt medical treatment is essential to help bring the body temperature under control.
From all of us at Carter Mario Law Firm, we hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and remember, stay cool!