KML-heatexhaustion_84554128

As the summer heat begins to rise, it’s important to know how to prevent, recognize and treat heat-related illnesses. Our bodies need to maintain a core temperature of 37˚C at all times in order to function properly. If our body’s temperature rises above it’s set point,the hypothalamus, a part of our brain that controls our body’s “thermostat”, will turn on various systems in order to cool us down.

These systems include sweating, increased blood flow to the skin and faster, shallower breathing.Most of our excess heat is shed through the skin, which is easy when the air around us is cool, but difficult in high temperatures, high humidity and direct sunlight.

Children can be quite susceptible to heat-related illnesses, especially those who have trouble regulating temperature or who cannot escape the heat.

If a child sweats heavily and doesn’t rehydrate, it can lead to dehydration and heat cramps. A child can be affected by even the smallest amount of dehydration. Not being hydrated can lead to other heat-related illnesses, because it interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Some symptoms of dehydration include dry or sticky mouth, thirst, low or no urine output, not producing tears, being irritable, headaches, dizziness, cramps, chills and fatigue.

If your child is dehydrated, move them to a cool, shady area and give them plenty of water. If they don’t feel better, take them to a doctor right away.

You can prevent heat-related illnesses by taking a few precautions. Plan your activities around the weather. Limit your outdoor activities during peak sun hour and stay out of direct sunlight and crowded areas. If you do play outside, make sure you take lots of rests in shady areas and rehydrate often. Wear light colored lightweight clothing.

To read more about this visit About Kids Health.

Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in 1981.www.KmarksLaw.com