Our bodies create a tremendous amount of internal heat. We normally cool ourselves by sweating and radiating heat through our skin. Under certain circumstances, such as unusually high temperatures, high humidity, or vigorous exercise in hot weather, this natural cooling system may begin to fail, allowing internal heat to build up to dangerous levels. The result may be heat illness, which can come in the form of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke.
Heat cramps are brief, severe cramps in the muscles of the legs, arms, or abdomen that may occur during or after vigorous exercise in extreme heat. The sweating that occurs with vigorous exercise causes the body to lose salts and fluids. And the low level of salts causes the muscles to cramp. Children are particularly susceptible to heat cramps when they haven't been drinking enough fluids. Although painful, heat cramps aren't serious.
Heat exhaustion is a more severe heat illness that can occur when a person in a hot climate or environment hasn't been drinking enough fluids. Symptoms may include: dehydration fatigue weakness clammy skin headache nausea and/or vomiting hyperventilation (rapid breathing) irritability
The most severe form of heat illness, heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. The body loses its ability to regulate its own temperature. Body temperature can soar to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher, leading to brain damage or even death if it isn't quickly treated. Prompt medical treatment is required to bring the body temperature under control. Factors that increase the risk for heatstroke include overdressing and extreme physical exertion in hot weather with inadequate fluid intake. For more information on keeping your kids safe just log on to Safe Kids