There are four types of heat-related illnesses which are very common.
- Heat Cramps
- Heat Exhaustion
- Heat Rash
- Heat Stroke
Children and teens adjust more slowly than adults to changes in the surrounding heat. They are also more active than adults and sweat less. Sweating is one of the body’s normal cooling mechanisms. Children and teens often do not think to rest when having fun and may not drink enough fluids when playing outdoors, doing exercise, or while participating in sports. Children and adolescents with chronic health problems, or those who take certain medicines, may be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.Those who are overweight or wear heavy clothing during exertion, such as marching band or football uniforms, are also likely to be more susceptible.
The mildest form of heat illness which consists of painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur during or after intense exercise and sweating in high heat.
Heat exhaustion is more severe than heat cramps and results from a loss of water and salt in the body. It occurs in conditions of extreme heat and excessive sweating without adequate fluid and salt replacement. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is unable to cool itself properly and, if left untreated, can progress to heat stroke.
Heat stroke, the most severe form of heat illness, occurs when the body’s heat-regulating system is overwhelmed by excessive heat. It is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
Heat rash is caused when the pores in the skin are blocked, and the body can’t expel heat in the form of sweat. Friction on the surface of the skin and wearing tight body fitting clothes also causes heat rash. Adults develop it in the body parts that rub together like inner thighs or under the arms while children generally develop heat rashes on neck, elbows, and thighs.