How do we know if a child is suffering a heat stroke?Can thermal shock occur only inside a car?Here are the main symptoms of heat stroke and how to prevent it.
The report "Children in cars and heat stroke in children", prepared by Fundación MAPFRE and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), covers in great depth the effects of heat stroke, tips to prevent its occurrence and how to respond in this situation. Here we also explain what to do if we see a child locked inside a car.
Heat stroke -or thermal shock- is one of the most serious cases of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body overheats due to high temperatures or physical overexertion.Dehydration causes different organs to stop functioning normally, as the previously mentioned report states.
Heat stroke results from acute thermoregulation failure and is considered an extreme medical emergency. It should be remembered that heat stroke can occur not only if you leave children alone in a car in the full glare of the sun but also if they are exposed to high levels of humidity and temperatures without adequate protection or hydration.
- Raising of body temperature to over 104ºC (fever or hyperthermia).
- Altered state of consciousness that could include convulsions.
- Very hot and dry skin.
Some other early symptoms could be:
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Dizzy spells, nausea and even vomiting.
- Muscle cramps.
- Intense headache and confusion.
- Shallow and rapid breathing.
- Tachycardia (very fast heart rate) and weak pulse.