Keeping kids safe in extreme heat

Amanda Aguilar Image
Saturday, September 3, 2022
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Valley Children's emergency room stays busy, and the heat brings its own illnesses.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley Children's emergency room stays busy, and the heat brings its own illnesses.

According to hospital officials, in the past month, staff has treated seven kids with heat-related illnesses.

They're hoping that number doesn't rise going into the hot weekend.

"Kids will be outside," said Kristina Pasma, trauma nurse liaison. "Because their bodies are made primarily of water, they can have heat-related illness much, much faster than an adult can."

Heat exhaustion -- such as dizziness, nausea, sweating -- can quickly turn into a heat stroke.

"In terms of heat stroke, you're looking for confusion, dizziness, like severe dizziness and unconsciousness," explained Pasma.

Drinking water is key when the Valley sees triple-digit temperatures.

"Kids that are elementary, junior high-ish age, we want them to drink at least 10 gulps of water about every 20 minutes," said Pasma. "For our older kiddos, our teenagers, we want them to drink about 20 gulps of water every 20 minutes."

The ER, unfortunately, sees a lot of drowning cases.

Kristina Pasma said kids need to be supervised around water at all times. There should be a barrier, such as a gate, around yards with pools. Kids also should wear a life jacket at beaches and lakes.

Lastly, it's important to learn CPR.

"Seconds can mean the difference between life and death for them," she said.

Pasma also wants to remind parents to never leave children in the car, especially in this dangerous heat.

"When we're talking 110 degrees -- inside your car, it may be 140-150 degrees," she said.

The CDC has additional reminders and tips on its website.