Raising heat stroke awareness as temps begin to rise

Western Mass News Photo

April 11 marks National Heat Stroke Day.

The day comes as an important reminder for parents to be aware of the danger their children might be in if they are left in the car.

"Heat stroke does not necessarily occur solely in the summer months which is typically when we do see most of the heat stroke types of incidents," said Dr. Gerald Beltran, with the Chief Division of Pre-Hospital and Disaster Medicine.

The statistics regarding deaths of children in hot cars are staggering, according to kidsincars.org.

While it may seem absurd to think about the heat in April, children have died in cars with temperatures as low as 60 degrees outside.

A child's body over heats three to five times faster than an adult.

"It’s a very important topic; looking at some the CDC data, 700 people die a year from heat related illness usually heatstroke it is something that people should be very cognizant of," said Dr. Beltran.

Parents should get into a routine of looking in the back seat before locking the car to make sure their kids are out.

Other things like de-layering when the kids get into the car can keep them safer too.

"You see those parents or trying to be very cognizant and have their kids very bundled up but as a car heats up in April or May. They still have that same outer layer on there less likely to be able to dissipate the heat and they’re more likely to suffer from heat injury or heat stroke or heat exhaustion," Dr. Beltran added.

Medication can affect how your body reacts to heat.

Blood pressure medication in older adults or ADHD medicine in children can have adverse effects in the heat as well.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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