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Signs an infant is suffering from heat stroke

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY(News4Utah) – Babies and young children are especially susceptible to a heat stroke, but it can be difficult to know if they’re suffering in the heat.

Infants can’t verbally tell you if they’re having a hard time in the heat. That’s why it’s vital for parents and caregivers to be aware of signs and to keep baby cool and safe in the heat.

“She’s definitely feeling it.”

Carol McConkie is keeping a close eye on her 1-year-old granddaughter Annie.

“Every time she got thirsty she handed me the sippy cup and I refilled 3 times.”

Those non-verbal signs are important says Dr. Joseph Bledsoe, an emergency physician with Intermountain Medical Center.  

“Babies don’t have sweat glands that are as developed as adults. They can develop heat exhaustion at lower temperatures without much activities. They can’t complain and it’s harder to recognize heat stroke and exhaustion in an infant,” said Bledsoe. 

Here’s what to watch out for:

  • A temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher – but no sweating
  • Hot, red, dry skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache  
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Unconsciousness

“So fluids are important. Also cooling them off, shade if you are out in the sun, a wet washcloth or fan,” said Bledsoe. 

McConkie and her grandchildren seem to be doing everything right to keep safe in the heat.

“We’ve been mostly sitting down in the shade. We’ll get out on the park for a little bit but when we get hot come back and sit.”

Dr. Bledsoe reminds us that anyone can suffer from a heat stroke if you are active in the extreme heat for a period of time.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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