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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Three types of heat-related illnesses
What are heat cramps?
Heat cramps are the mildest form of heat injury and consist of painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur during or after intense exercise and sweating in high heat.
What is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion is more severe than heat cramps and results from a loss of water and salt in the body. It occurs in conditions of extreme heat and excessive sweating without adequate fluid and salt replacement. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is unable to cool itself properly and, if left untreated, can progress to heat stroke.
What is heat stroke?
Heat stroke, the most severe form of heat illness, occurs when the body's heat-regulating system is overwhelmed by excessive heat. It's a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms and first-aid measures for heat injuries:
The following chart contains the most common symptoms of heat-related injuries. However, each adolescent may experience symptoms differently. In addition specific treatment will be determined by your adolescent's physician and may include some, or more, of the following:
painful cramps, especially in the legs
flushed, moist skin
Move to a cool place and rest.
Remove excess clothing and place cool cloths on skin; fan skin
Give cool sports drinks containing salt and sugar such as Gatorade
pale, moist skin
usually has a fever over 102 degrees
anxiety, and faint feeling
Move to a cool place and rest
If no improvement or unable to take fluids, call your adolescent's physician or take your child to an emergency department immediately. IV (intravenous) fluids may be needed.
warm, dry skin
high fever, usually over 104 degrees
rapid heart rate
loss of appetite
Call 911 or your local emergency medical service. Heat stroke is a lifethreatening medical emergency and needs to be treated by a physician
Remove excess clothing and drench skin with cool water; fan skin.
Place ice bags on the armpits and groin areas.
How can heat stroke be prevented?
Some general guidelines to help protect your adolescent from heat-related illnesses include the following:
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