Signs & Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Children


A day at the beach, or a sunny summer day in the park, can be fun for the whole family. But a child who does too much activity in the hot sun without taking in enough cold liquids, and without taking a break in the shade once in a while, could start to show the symptoms of heat stroke. Once heat stroke signs start to appear, it is necessary to take action and call emergency services.


Many people confuse heat stroke with heat exhaustion or heat cramps. While all three are forms of hyperthermia, which is an unhealthy elevation of the temperature of the body, only heat stroke is considered to be life-threatening and must be treated immediately. The signs and symptoms of heat stroke may be similar to the other forms of hyperthermia, but if any of the symptoms appear in a child, it is essential to get that child medical attention as soon as possible.

Common Symptoms

Heat stroke can strike quickly, and one of the most common signs that a child is suffering from heat stroke is red flush skin without the presence of sweating. This is an indication that the body is dehydrated and suffering from heat stroke. The child will also experience a rapid rise in body temperature and nausea to go along with their other symptoms.


It is common for children suffering from heat stroke to say and do strange things. One of the reasons for this is that hallucinations are a common symptom of heat stroke, and the child is reacting to what they think they see. The child may also seem unusually aggravated or even disoriented when they try to walk. They will also show signs of a difficulty in breathing, and their pulse will be rapid.


Heat stroke can also lead to a severe headache in a child, and then it could possibly progress to the child losing consciousness. He will usually have no appetite, and he could possibly begin to have seizures.


The best way to handle an episode of heat stroke is to get the child to a cool and shaded area, and attempt to get the child to drink cold liquids. Apply towels soaked in cool wet water, and call emergency services immediately. Once a child begins displaying the signs of heat stroke you may be able to stabilize them for a moment, but they will need medical attention immediately.

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