Sign & Symptoms

Alarming Symptoms of Heatstroke in children and treatments

First aid

In the case of heatstroke, it is necessary to reduce the internal temperature of the child as quickly as possible, since he may lose consciousness.

First, you need to call the ambulance service. Then completely free the child from clothes and put them in a cool place. If there is no room nearby, you need to find a shadow.

While waiting for an ambulance, you can wipe the child’s body with a cloth or washcloth soaked in cold water, turn on the fan (if it is not there, you can just wave something, for example, a magazine).

It is not recommended to give anything to drink to the child, except for breast milk, or, if he is older than 4 months, a little water.

When you need to be hospitalized

Moderate to severe overheating is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Cyanotic properties of the skin;
  • Puffiness of the face;
  • Dilated pupils;
  • Increased breathing rate;
  • Paralysis and muscle cramps;
  • Stopping urination;
  • Gastroenteritis;
  • Profuse diarrhea;
  • Fever.

The combination of clinical signs determines how long a heat stroke lasts. Slight redness of the skin, temperature up to 39 degrees-easy degree. With it, you can count on a full recovery of health after 3-4 days of bed rest.

With neurological symptoms, it is necessary to count on a long course of pathology. Even with the use of the most modern medicines, you can not expect to fully restore health when brain neurons are damaged.

There is an individual sensitivity of the thermoregulation center to elevated ambient temperatures. The course and duration of overheating are affected by provoking factors:

  • Weight gain;
  • Excessive psycho-emotional stress;
  • Tight clothing;
  • Poor ventilation of the room;
  • Endocrine and cardiovascular diseases;
  • Neurological disorders;
  • Alcohol intoxication;
  • Smoking;
  • Frequent use of anti-inflammatory drugs.


In the classical course, heatstroke develops suddenly. Before the appearance of unpleasant symptoms, pulling muscle pains are observed, the patient experiences constant thirst. Gradually, a person’s pulse becomes faster, and cardiac arrhythmia develops.

With a severe course of the disease, there are signs of damage to the nervous system. Gradually, convulsions occur, involuntary urination is formed, and defecation is observed.

Severe overheating leads to vomiting, frequent bleeding.

Doctors with experience claim that children have increased reactivity of the body. Against this background, you can count on an independent cure of the pathology. Only with a mild degree of illness, first aid can be provided on an outpatient basis without subsequent hospitalization of the patient.

With moderate and severe disease, pathological symptoms develop that require hospitalization of the patient. Hyperthermia, pathology of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems require monitoring using resuscitation equipment.

How to help with heatstroke?

When the first symptoms of heat stroke appear, you need to start providing first aid to the victim. At the same time, it should be remembered that treatment should be started before the ambulance arrives, which should definitely be called since it is difficult for a non-specialist to determine the form of heatstroke. You need to react especially quickly if the situation concerns the elderly or small children.

Treatment of heatstroke in adults before the arrival of a doctor consists of the following measures::

Ensure that the affected person stays in the shade or in a cool place. If this is a room, provide fresh air access and normalize humidity. There should not be a large crowd of people near the patient. It is recommended to fan the patient with something, for example, a fan.
The victim should only lie on his back. At the same time, fix the head and legs slightly higher. You can put a pillow under them (if possible) or something that will be at hand

It is important to monitor the moment when the patient begins to vomit and put it so as to avoid getting masses into the respiratory tract. If a person has already vomited, make sure that there is no vomit left in the mouth.
Remove the patient’s outer clothing and those that can squeeze the chest and neck


Remove the belt on your trousers and any clothing made of thick or synthetic fabric.
Wrap the person in a wet cloth (most often a sheet) or ensure frequent spraying with water. Always wipe your face with cool water (both when dousing the body and when wetting the wrapping cloth, the water temperature should be within +18°C — +20°C).
Give the victim plenty of fluids. It is desirable that it was mineral or at least simple cool water. If possible, then offer a tincture of Valerian: for 1/3 Cup of cool water-20 drops of Valerian. If the patient’s condition is not very serious, it is allowed to give him strong coffee or tea.
Provide a permanent cold compress on the back of the head and forehead of the affected person. This can be a wet cold cloth, a bottle of cold water, or ice cubes wrapped in a cloth.

Before the arrival of an ambulance or with a mild form, you can use folk methods to treat or relieve symptoms. Treat areas of increased pulsation with a weak vinegar solution or apply something cold from the freezer. You can brew chamomile tea and add lemon. To improve the peripheral blood supply, make compresses on the feet and palms from a mixture of horseradish and onions.

After the victim’s condition has begun to improve, you can use orange or watermelon juice daily to restore your strength. If light burns or redness were also obtained due to heatstroke, then they can be smeared with sour cream or kefir.

In more severe situations:

If consciousness is disturbed: give the patient a cotton swab with ammonia or 10% ammonia solution to smell.
In case of cardiac or respiratory arrest, perform an indirect heart massage or artificial respiration.
Even after the patient has been treated, regained consciousness and his condition has improved, doctors advise him to observe bed rest for at least 2 days. This time is necessary in order to restore blood circulation, all biochemical processes, and restore the nervous system.

In severe situations, miscarriage or fading of pregnancy at any time can occur. At the first sign of heatstroke in pregnant women, the first action is to call an ambulance and take measures to cool the body. You can try to eliminate the signs yourself only if the condition is noticed at the initial stage. If there is vomiting, nausea, a violation of the heartbeat, the body temperature has risen above +38°C, completely independent elimination of symptoms (without consulting a doctor) is prohibited.

Children also belong to the category of increased risk of heatstroke

It is important to identify the initial signs of a stroke in a timely manner. Most often, the skin becomes either much wetter or drier, the pulse can go off-scale for 100 beats per minute (this is already an alarm signal), nausea, headache, and dizziness may occur.


To ease the child’s condition, put it under a cool shower or wipe it with a wet towel. Do not allow the water to be very cold, a sharp temperature drop is unacceptable. Be sure to provide the baby with a lying position in a darkened cool room, give him a drink of water. At elevated temperatures, give an antipyretic agent, which, in addition, will relieve the headache. At least one adult should always be near the baby during treatment.

About heat stroke

Heatstroke is a consequence of a violation of the body’s thermoregulation. Overheating occurs as a result of absorbing a large amount of heat from the outside. Since the human body is constantly warmed by its own vital processes, it is enough to spend very little time in a hot room or under the scorching sun to get a heat stroke.

Heatstroke in a child can occur as a result of:

  • outdoor activities in Sunny weather;
  • being in an unventilated room with a high air temperature;
  • excessive wrapping of the baby or putting a large amount of clothing on it.

To prevent this, you should follow basic preventive measures.

Sunstroke is a type of heatstroke that occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to the scorching sun.

Treatment of a child after heat stroke

While waiting for doctors, start treating and helping your child yourself, following a simple strategy to cool down the baby’s body. The main thing is to do everything quickly:

  • move your child to a cooler place or shade.;
  • remove excess clothing;
  • provide plenty of water to drink, and give a cool liquid containing salt and sugar;
  • you can give your baby up to one year of age breast milk, formula, or baby food.

After providing first aid, an ambulance is required, regardless of the severity of the disease. After arriving to the patient, the pediatrician should leave a number of recommendations to the parents:

Rubdown is performed only when the temperature rises above 41 degrees;
Febrile convulsions are treated only with medications;
Wiping is performed only with warm water.
Coldwater causes discomfort and crying.
The antipyretic agent Ibuprofen is prescribed only after an increase in the temperature curve;
Wiping should be done with lukewarm water, but no alcohol


Water causes crying, can aggravate a cold, so you need to use it with caution. The procedure is canceled for chills, convulsions, paralysis of the limbs;
To increase the effectiveness of the procedure, an antipyretic drug should be given 30 minutes before its use;
Wipe with water in case of heatstroke should be carried out immediately;
A feverish child should be given a lot to drink;
Evaporation of liquid from the skin surface increases heat generation

To activate it, you need to expand the skin pores by applying cool compresses to places of intensive blood supply (head, chest, back);
Do not give children Aspirin to prevent Rey’s syndrome;
The use of Acetaminophen is allowed only if the temperature in the armpit exceeds 39 degrees Celsius;
The first-line drug is Ibuprofen. Its effectiveness is longer than that of Paracetamol, but the effect occurs gradually. It is better to use drugs based on these ingredients (Ibuklin).

Treatment of toddlers 2-3 years old

With hyperthermia in a child of 2-3 years, treatment is carried out in the same way. Emergency doctors assess the General condition of the patient and, if necessary, hospitalize him in a hospital.

Treatment of heatstroke depends on its severity, sometimes doctors insist on hospitalization of the child. The scheme of drug therapy for children under 4 years of age is as follows:

  • taking anti-shock and antipyretic drugs with a dosage appropriate to the age of the child;
  • intravenous administration of solutions to normalize the electrolyte balance in the child’s body;
  • taking hormonal medications to improve hemodynamics;
  • anticonvulsants are prescribed as needed;
  • in critical situations, tracheal intubation is performed.

How to treat children older than 3-5 years?

Children of preschool and school-age have more stable thermoregulation, but, despite this, they can also get heatstroke if they stay in the sun for a long time or in a very warm room. In a hospital setting, therapy is performed using the following medications::

drugs Droperidol and Aminazine are administered intravenously according to the instructions;
saline solutions are infused with a dropper to prevent dehydration and normalize the level of electrolytes;
cardiotonic normalize the functioning of the cardiovascular system;
hormonal drugs;
anticonvulsants Diazepam and Seduxen are used for treatment only when necessary.

Causes of heat stroke

More often, overheating of the body causes exposure to high temperature in combination with high humidity. The cause of heatstroke can also be wearing synthetic or other dense clothing that prevents the release of body heat.

It can be triggered by excessive physical activity in direct sunlight, prolonged stay in a stuffy room with limited access to fresh air.

Overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, dehydration, and overwork increase the likelihood of heatstroke on hot days.

Older people and children are predisposed to overheating of the body. In the elderly, this is due to the fact that due to age-related changes, thermoregulation is weakened.

The tendency of children to overheat the body is explained by the fact that their thermoregulatory processes are not formed. People who have problems with the urinary, endocrine, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems are more at risk of getting heatstroke than others.


Helping with heat stroke

If the first symptoms of heat stroke occur, call an ambulance. Before the arrival of doctors, it is recommended to move the victim to a shaded or cool place and provide him with oxygen access by unbuttoning his clothes or Stripping him to the waist. After the person should be laid on his back, raise his head and try to cool by any means. For example, spray your skin with cold water, wrap your body in a damp cloth, or place it under a ventilator.

In the case of heat stroke, it is useful to apply compresses with ice on the forehead, neck, and occipital region. If it is impossible to get it, you can use a bottle of cold liquid instead of ice. If the victim is conscious, he should be given a drink of cool mineral water or any drink that does not contain alcohol and caffeine. This will help to cool the body quickly and make up for the lack of fluid. In such cases, an infusion of Valerian diluted with water helps.

After a heat stroke, the victim is recommended to avoid overexertion, physical exertion, and observe bed rest for several days. This is necessary to normalize the functioning of important body functions and reduce the risk of repeated overheating of the body.

Hyperthermia from heat exposure or heat stroke is a serious violation of the neurological and General functions of the human body, resulting from overheating of the entire body. Hyperthermia develops very quickly, sometimes up to critical values of 42-43 degrees in the rectum (in the rectum), as a result, the body does not have time to adapt to temperature changes and there is a rapid depletion of compensatory properties.

Thermoregulation of the human body is possible at a normal internal temperature of about 37°, fluctuations within 1.5 degrees are allowed. If the thermoreceptors of the skin and all mucous membranes work normally, and this is possible only if the external temperature is compatible with life, then signals to come to the Central nervous system control the thermoregulation process. When the external environment is heated in the full sense of the word, the increased temperature changes the mechanism of heat transfer of the human body, there is a violation of the speed and completeness of blood flow, vascular regulation, and vascular tone changes. In addition, the heat provokes intense sweating, which sometimes reaches record levels-1.5 liters per hour. Such rapid fluid loss inevitably leads to dehydration (dehydration), often to hypovolemic shock and General intoxication.

Heatstroke is a pathological condition that occurs as a result of overheating of the body of an adult or child under the influence of external thermal factors. This is a form of hyperthermia, that is, an increase in body temperature. In the human body, vital processes are disrupted, which can lead to heart and respiratory failure, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Symptoms and treatment of heatstroke in adults and children, as well as the principles of first aid, are discussed later in the article.

Symptoms, signs, and diagnosis of heat and sunstroke in an adult

Heatstroke may occur:

  • deterioration of General health;
  • redness of the skin;
  • increased body temperature;
  • increased heart rate;
  • pressure reduction;
  • headaches;
  • vertigo;
  • fainting (loss of consciousness);
  • shortness of breath (feeling of lack of air);
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • convulsions.

disturbances of consciousness, convulsions, headaches, and so on

Deterioration of general health

in the stage of compensation of the Central nervous system irritability-a pathological condition in which the patient does not respond to any stimuli

Pressure reduction


Blood pressure in the arteries about 120/80 millimeters of mercury tachycardia increased heart rate more than 100 beats per minute heart rate high-temperature increase in temperature by 1 degree is accompanied by an increase in heart rate by 10 beats per minute even at normal pressure

Can there be chills from heatstroke?

Chillin the hands and feet muscle contractions are accompanied by the release of heat and warming of the body located in the brain that is muscle tremors

Forms of heat stroke

depending on which symptoms are most pronounced in the clinical picture of the disease from a clinical point of view, there are:

  • An asphyxiating form of heatstroke. In this case, signs of damage to the respiratory system (shortness of breath, rapid or rare breathing) come to the fore. The body temperature can rise to 38-39 degrees, and other symptoms (dizziness, convulsions, and so on) may be mild or completely absent.
  • Hyperthermic form. In this form of the disease, a pronounced increase in body temperature (more than 40 degrees) and related disorders of the functions of vital organs (drop in blood pressure, dehydration, convulsions) come to the fore.
  • The cerebral (brain) form. It is characterized by a predominant lesion of the Central nervous system, which can be manifested by convulsions, impaired consciousness, headaches, and so on. The body temperature may be moderately elevated or high (from 38 to 40 degrees).
  • Gastroenteritis form. In this case, from the first hours of the disease, the patient may experience severe nausea and repeated vomiting, and at later stages of development, diarrhea may appear. Other signs of heatstroke (dizziness, redness of the skin, respiratory disorders) are also present but are mild or moderate. The body temperature in this form rarely exceeds 39 degrees.

Stages of heat stroke

In the development of heat stroke, there are:


  • The compensation stage. It is characterized by heating of the body, during which its compensatory (cooling) systems are activated. In this case, there may be redness of the skin, heavy sweating, thirst (against the background of fluid loss from the body), and so on. The body temperature is maintained at a normal level.
  • The decompensation stage (actually heat stroke). At this stage, the body’s overheating becomes so pronounced that compensatory cooling mechanisms are ineffective. At the same time, the body temperature rises rapidly, as a result of which the signs of heatstroke listed above appear.
    Heat and sunstroke in a child
    overheating, heat loss, and so on, for example, when playing on the beach

Symptoms of heatstroke in children

Heatstroke does not strike the child suddenly. The pathological condition is preceded by the following symptoms::

  • General fatigue;
  • loss of appetite;
  • moodiness. Children may have gratuitous tantrums;
  • very strong redness of the skin;
  • increased thirst;
  • increased heart rate;
  • nausea;
  • headaches.

Such signs appear at the stage of heat exhaustion — a mild form of heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke itself occur 6-8 hours after the body overheats.


Heatstroke is most often accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • symptoms of intoxication: severe nausea, vomiting, loose stools;
  • stopping sweating. The baby’s skin becomes very dry and hot;
  • paleness or blueness of the skin;
  • low blood pressure;
  • shortness of breath;
  • sharp headaches;
  • very high body temperature (40 degrees or more). At the same time, the temperature is growing rapidly and can reach dangerous values in half an hour.

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