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Protect Your Kids From the Heat
Expert offers tips on avoiding heat-related illness in children

By Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, June 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Parents need to be aware that hot weather can pose a serious threat to children and must take steps to protect their youngsters, an expert says.

In extremely hot weather, children's play time should be restricted to early morning or late afternoon, Dr. Eric Kirkendall from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recommended in a medical center news release.

Parents also need to monitor children's physical activity to make sure they don't overexert themselves.

"Keep them well-hydrated with water, and take frequent breaks to allow them to come inside and cool off," Kirkendall said.

Hot weather puts children at risk for three types of problems, he noted. "Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps are reactions caused by exposure to high temperatures combined with high humidity," Kirkendall said. "The most serious of these is heat stroke."

Heat cramps typically occur in the abdomen and legs, especially the calf or thigh muscles. There is no fever. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include pale skin, profuse sweating, nausea, dizziness, fainting and weakness. Children with heat exhaustion require medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke include hot flushed skin, high fever (over 104 degrees F), confusion and other altered mental states, and seizures. This is a life-threatening emergency and 911 needs to be called immediately, Kirkendall said.

Keep the child as cool as possible while waiting for emergency crews to arrive. For example: move the child to a cool, shady place or an air-conditioned room; fan the child; sponge the child's entire body with cool water. If the cool water makes the child shiver, stop.

If the child is awake, give him or her as much cold water as they can drink. Don't use fever medicines, because they do nothing to treat heat stroke, Kirkendall said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about heat illness.

SOURCE: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, news release, June 16, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=688938

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Water
Heat Stroke
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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