Protecting kids from summer heat
7 Healthcast: Protecting kids from summer heat
"Temperatures inside the car could easily to 120 to 140 degrees in a very short period," says Dr. Katherine Jett. "Five to ten minutes could cause a small child to begin to have problems."
Dr. Jett is an Internal Medicine Pediatric Specialist with Baptist Medical Associates.
She wants parents to know that it doesn't take the extreme circumstance like a child in a hot car, for extreme heat to cause health risks.
It's simple she says, "kids don't adapt to high temperatures as well as adults."
It's a combination of their smaller bodies, "they don't have as much body fluid, as much body mass" explains Dr. Jett, so any change in temperature is more difficult for children to handle.
The signs of heat exhaustion are excessive thirst, giddiness, skin becoming cold and clammy, a feeling of weakness or clumsiness.
With any of those signs, it's time to get medical help before actual heat stroke.
If it progresses to that point, the child or adult will spike a fever in minutes reaching 104 and higher.
Other symptoms include confusion, combativeness, a rapid pulse and possible fainting.
Another clear sign is a lack of sweat.
Dr. Jett is vigilant about educating parents.
"I've actually had to take care of children that have died of heat stroke. It's a very real and serious condition that's 100% preventable," she says.
Some easy prevention tips include dressing in light colored clothing and only one later.
Drink plenty of water before heading outside and once there provide children with more water every 20 minutes.
Avoid the hottest parts of the day, but if that's impossible, find shade or air conditioning for frequent breaks.
"Enjoy your summer" says Dr. Jett "just be smart about it."
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