Heat-Related Illnesses in Teens


Heat related illnesses are caused due to prolonged exposure to heat and also humidity without any reprieve and due to inadequate intake of fluids. Kids and teens adjust to the variations in heat compared to adults who adapt more quickly. However the heat production is high in them when compared to adults but sweat relatively less. Sweating is the natural action of the body and cooling mechanism to counter heat. Kids and teens often ignore these facts and do not hydrate themselves enough while playing, participating in sports and exercises.

Kids and teens with health problems that are chronic or those who are on certain prescription could be more susceptible to heat related problems. Overweight adolescents or those who wear heavy clothing in times of exertion also suffer heat related illnesses. Heat related illnesses are basically classified into three types. They are: Heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat cramps are the mildest of all heat related injuries and constitute aching muscle cramps and also spasms that occur during intense exercising and also after intense exercising and also sweating in high heat. The symptoms of heat cramps include cramps that are painful in the legs. Flushed and moist skin is also symptoms of heat cramps. The symptoms could also include mild fever generally below 102 degree Fahrenheit. Teens suffering from heat cramps should move to a cool place and take adequate rest. Remove any excessive clothing and wear or put cool clothing on skin or cool skin using air conditioner or fan. Sports drinks which are cool and which contains sugars and salts can also be taken. Stretching out cramped muscles slowly and steadily also helps reduce heat cramps.

On the other hand hear exhaustion is more serious and severe compared to heat cramps and occur due to heavy loss of salt and water from the body. Extreme heat conditions, inadequate fluid intake and excessive sweating results in this conditions. Also, heat exhaustion occurs as a result of inability of the body to maintain the body temperature below the normal which can deteriorate further and also result in a heat stroke which is even worse. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are: muscle cramps, moist skin, pale skin, nausea, fever above 102 degree Fahrenheit, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, weakness, anxiety and faint feeling. Teens suffering from heat exhaustion should stay in cool surrounding and take enough rest. Removing excessive clothing, putting on cool clothes and sitting in fan or air conditioning also helps the situation. Intake of cold sports drinks which contains salts and sugars are also advisable. If a teen doesn

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