Children’s Heat Stress Safety

Facts about heat stress safety for children

  • A child’s body heats up 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body
  • Children’s heat stroke deaths have been recorded in every month of every year in all fifty states
  • More than half of heat stroke deaths have occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a child was in a vehicle
  • An average of 38 children have died in hot cars each year since 1998
  • More than seven percent of heat stroke deaths occur in children under the age of 2
  • 30% of heat stroke deaths occur because a child got into a car without the caregiver knowing and could not get out
  • Cracking the window and parking in the shade do not help much
  • A vehicle can reach 110°F when the outside temperature is in the 60s

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Illness in Children

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Increased thirst
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Body temperature elevates but stays below 104°F
  • Heat stroke
  • Body temperature above 104°F
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium
  • No sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Rapid heart beat

Treatment for Heat Illness in Kids

  • Most important is to get the child to a cool location
  • Once the child is in a cool location call 911
  • Take off all unnecessary clothing, and try to expose as much skin as possible
  • Start cooling the child’s skin
  • Use a wet sponge to cool skin
  • Heat Stress Safety Cooling Pads or Cooling Vest
  • Bag of ice
  • Place cooling device under neck and armpits
  • Fan their skin or place child in front of fan or some kind of moving air
  • Drink lots of fluid and stay hydrated

How to Prevent Heat Illness in Children

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing
  • Try to avoid kids being outside and intense activity during the hottest part of the day
  • Do not leave kids in the car under any circumstances
  • Lock the doors to cars in the driveway so that kids cannot sneak into the cars without you knowing and getting trapped
  • If you ever see any child left in a car, call 911 immediately
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