First, as always, please let me remind you that I am not a medical professional. I’m a parent like you whose first concern is the safety of her children.
Yesterday, we had a scary experience that I wanted to share in hopes of preventing this in another child. My older daughter, who is 10, came home from a birthday party with heat exhaustion. The outdoor temperature was much warmer this weekend than it has been this year so far and the kids spent a lot of time playing outside at the party.
At first, she certainly did not seem like herself, but I thought she was just tired because she had an abnormally busy weekend with three activities, two of them birthday parties. However, as the evening progressed, it became apparent that her behavior was more than simple social activity overload.
All’s well that ends well and I’m happy to report that very early this morning her temperature dropped back into normal range and she is feeling much better. But before I file this experience away in my Parenting is not for the Faint of Heart chronicles, please let me share with you some important information.
First, here’s the recipe for Oral Rehydration Solution (click here for the SCD version). It’s easy to make with ingredients you have on hand—and saves valuable time over running to the store for Pedialyte.
Oral Rehydration Solution
1 Liter water, boiled
8 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Lemon or Lime juice (we added this to make it taste better)
Add all ingredients together. Cool before serving. (Or serve over ice.)
Second, here are the symptoms of heat exhaustion from AboutKidsHealth.com. Check out their site for helpful information about dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is caused by loss of water and salt, often as a result of exercise in hot weather. If it is not treated, it may progress to heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• normal or elevated body temperature, although not as high as 40°C (104°F)
• profuse sweating
• pale skin
• skin may be cool and moist
• fast, shallow breathing
• fast, weak pulse
• nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• dizziness, weakness, or fainting
• heat cramps
Third, the American Academy of Pediatrics states:
For morphologic and physiologic reasons, exercising children do not adapt as effectively as adults when exposed to a high climatic heat stress. This may affect their performance and well-being, as well as increase the risk for heat-related illness. This policy statement summarizes approaches for the prevention of the detrimental effects of children's activity in hot or humid climates, including the prevention of exercise-induced dehydration.
This is important information for all of us, especially now that summer is approaching.