PHOENIX – A 12-year-old boy died of heatstroke July 21 after hiking in triple-digit temperatures in northern Phoenix.
The boy was hiking with an older man in the Sonoran Desert Preserve and became ill. He was flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and was later pronounced dead.
Although the monsoon season has come to Arizona, the heat has not subsided. Some may not know it, but several factors put children at a high risk of heat stroke. Children tend to play hard, paying no mind to the dangers of dehydration. Because of their smaller bodies, children can sweat out liquid faster than adults. Also, young bodies are not developed and cannot regulate heat as well.
The symptoms of heatstroke are fainting, seizures, difficulty breathing, confusion and a racing heart. Some individuals may become extremely sweaty, while others may have stopped sweating altogether. Severe vomiting and diarrhea is another symptom of heat stroke.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 immediately. If left untreated, heatstroke can be life threatening or result in lifelong health complications.
Once medical authorities are on the way, it is important to take quick action. Take the person suffering from heat stroke out of the heat and into a cool, shady place. Remove as many clothes as possible and expose as much of the individual’s skin to the cool air as you can. Cool off the individual with ice packs and cool sponge baths. Never give a heatstroke victim aspirin or acetaminophen to lower their body temperature. Doing this can cause problems with the body’s natural reaction to heatstroke.
Heatstroke prevention tips for parents
- Be sure to have your child take a break in their daily play to drink fluids.
- Have break times in playing activities so a child can cool off and relax.
- In sunshine or cloudy weather, heatstroke is still a possibility. Be aware of your children’s environment and compensate for summer heat.
- Have children wear loose, light clothes.
- Avoid the maximum heat times between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. in hot weather for playtime.
- Always maintain a level of fluid intake.
- Have children wear hats to avoid direct sun exposure.
source: babyfirst.com and kidshealth.org