Heat exhaustion in toddlers?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-08-2009, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I now believe my (generally healthy) 1-1/2-year-old son has suffered from heat exhaustion twice this summer. The first time, that possibility never occured to me. I just assumed he'd come down with a bug. He was sick for fully 48 hours. The second time I guessed it was the heat (which made me guess that it had been the heat the first time, as well). I gave him a cool bath, used cold compresses, blew a fan directly on him and let him breast-feed pretty much constantly throughout the night. He was fine by morning.

So, for those of you who know more about this than I do:

*Can heat exhaustion simply look like a hot, tired baby getting cranky or falling asleep...and coming down with a fever...without the more extreme symptoms like vomiting, etc.?

*I know online sources say it can last 24-48 hours, but how common is that? It was really hard for me to believe heat exhaustion wouldn't clear up in an hour or so, once the child was in air-conditioning.

*Online, everything says that fever-reducers won't help heat exhaustion, but they definitely did help my son, both times. Does that mean it wasn't the heat?

*Presuming this was heat exhaustion, can I expect him to tolerate heat better when he's older? How much older? After all, we're in Indiana, not Arizona - and both times I was careful to incorporate shade and plenty of fluids into our outdoor activities. The second time, we even peppered our outdoor things with time indoors, in the a/c.

*Once a toddler gets heat exhaustion, does that make him more disposed to have trouble regulating his body temp, the next time he's out in the sun?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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#2 of 5 Old 07-10-2009, 08:40 AM
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Two of my children are sensitive to the heat and so am I. I live in the midwest too (OH) and it seems plenty hot to me! That humidity can really get you. I don't think it's something you outgrow, I still get a horrible headache if I'm out in the heat and don't drink a lot of water. But it probably won't affect him quite as much. My 11 yo rarely will get a fever anymore, she just gets a headache.

About fever reducers, it sounds like you did other stuff (cool bath, fan, etc) so you really can't say if it helped your son or not. He might have cooled right down even without it.
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#3 of 5 Old 07-10-2009, 09:47 AM
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I'm very sensitive to heat myself and used to get heat exhaustion a lot, even from just riding around in a car without air conditioning for more than a short period on a moderately hot day. The thing that helps me the most is drinking an electrolyte drink frequently. I usually start my day with one. I used to use Trader Joe's Traderade, but I now make my own using 1tsp sea salt, a healthy dose of honey to taste and a half a lemon (or a whole one if it is small). I put it all in a regular sized glass and top off with water. It helps immensely. I'll also halve the recipe and give it to DS, who is 2 1/2 when he seems like he's a bit cranky after we've been outside. He loves it.

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#4 of 5 Old 07-10-2009, 09:48 AM
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I forgot to add that my heat exhaustion sounds exactly like what you described. I never threw up, but I did sometimes feel nauseated. Mostly I was hot and totally exhausted.

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#5 of 5 Old 07-10-2009, 04:15 PM
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Some kids with my son's condition that have heat tolerance/temp. regulation issues use cooling vests outside. Something to consider. Does your son sweat?

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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