Heatstroke Treatment for Children Questions and Answers
If your child is exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke, it is imperative to take immediate action. Bring them to Immediate Care of Oklahoma, where we can help them lower their body temperature and rehydrate them to prevent any serious complications. For more information, call us now or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Oklahoma City, OK.
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Playing outdoors is a favorite of children and adults alike, especially during the warm summer months. It is a great source of exercise, and allows our little ones to practice their creativity in a fun and productive manner. However, physical activity on a hot day can quickly lead to dehydration, which is a precursor for heatstroke. When our children are exhibiting the early warning signs of heatstroke, it is imperative to take immediate action by putting them in a cool place and making sure they drink lots of fluids. In some cases, however, professional medical intervention is necessary, and should be sought promptly.
The following methods are suggested at-home treatments of heatstroke:
Lower body temperature:
• Move the person into a cool environment
• Use a fan if air conditioning is unavailable
• Get them into a cool shower/bath
• Apply cool compresses
• As long as the person is alert, give them cool beverages; avoid any alcoholic or caffeinated drinks
• Avoid physical activity
• To treat a mild headache, use over-the-counter acetaminophen, if recommended by a physician
See a Health Care Provider, if:
• Symptoms get worse
• Symptoms last longer than one hour
• The person is nauseated or vomiting
So that any complications can be identified quickly, it is standard for a person with heatstroke to stay in the hospital for one or more days. It may take two months to a year to completely recover from heat stroke and its effects on body organs. Subsequently, heatstroke symptoms can last for about a week. During this time, it is important to rest and to let the body recover. Avoid hot weather and exercise. Consult a doctor for advice on when it is safe to return to normal, everyday activities. Complications of heat exhaustion include muscle weakness, dehydration, nausea, and vomiting. If the activity is not stopped and the person left in a hot environment, there can be progression of symptoms, which may lead to a life-threatening emergency.
Heatstroke treatment is focused on cooling the body to a normal temperature; this prevents or reduces damage to the brain and vital organs. To treat heatstroke, doctors may:
• Immerse the person in cold water: The most effective way of quickly lowering the body’s core temperature is to take a bath of cold or ice water. The quicker a person with heatstroke can receive cold water immersion, the lower the risk of death and organ damage.
• Use evaporation cooling techniques: If cold water immersion is unavailable, healthcare workers may try to lower body temperature using an evaporation method. This involves misting cool water over the body while blowing warm air using a fan, causing the water to evaporate and cool the skin.
• Pack with ice and cooling blankets: Another method is to wrap an individual in a special cooling blanket and apply ice packs to high-temperature regions of the body, including the groin, neck, back and armpits.
• Give medications to stop shivering: If treatments to lower body temperature make an individual shiver, doctors may give them a muscle relaxant, such as a benzodiazepine. Shivering increases the body’s temperature, making treatment less effective.
We have 7 locations to better serve you: one in Edmond, OK; two in Norman, OK; one in Tecumseh, OK; two in Oklahoma City, OK; and one in Yukon, OK. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, and Bethany OK.
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