How to Identify Heat Injuries in Children


Heat injuries can sneak up on children quickly and without much notice. During the summer when kids are playing outdoors for hours at a time, it’s easy for them to get overheated. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat injuries can help keep your child safe and prevent serious illness or even death.

Identifying A Heat Injury

There are several different types of heat injuries, with varying levels of severity. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes are all risks your child faces when spending ample time outdoors in the hot weather.

Heat cramps: The least severe of the three, heat cramps are brief muscle spasms that happen during or after exerting energy in the heat. If your child isn’t drinking enough fluids, he or she is at risk of heat cramps.

Heat exhaustion: Slightly more severe than heat cramps is heat exhaustion. This can also occur from lack of fluids and may result in fainting, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, headache and more.

Heat stroke: Finally, heat strokes are the most severe of the three. A heat stroke, typically caused by over-exertion in hot weather, can be life threatening if not treated promptly. If your child is experiencing a heat stroke, he or she will suffer from a severe headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing and possibly even loss of consciousness.

Preventing A Heat Injury

It’s essential that your child continue to drink plenty of fluids any time they will be outdoors on a hot day. You should also make sure they are wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and plenty of sunscreen. Finally, encourage your child to take breaks throughout the day, coming inside or resting in the shade regularly.

If you believe your child is suffering from a heat injury, consider seeking medical care at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics and will treat your child with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.