By Thuy Bui, MD
CASE – Part 1:
You are volunteering at the SuperHero Sprint – CHOA’s summertime 5K race. A 12-year-old male running in his first race is brought to the medical tent by his mother. He is diaphoretic and vomiting. What are you concerned about?
All heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. However, despite this fact, each year an average of 658 people die from extreme heat per the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In the United States alone, there were 8,081 heat-related deaths from 1999-2010 according to the Centers for Disease Control. And more recently, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts, 87 people died in the U.S. in 2017 from exposure to excessive heat.
Children, because of multiple factors including their lower sweat rate and higher metabolic heat production, account for approximately 4% of heat-related deaths. In fact, heat stroke is the 3rdmost common cause of exercise-related mortality for U.S. high school athletes; and since 1998, 619 children have died in vehicles from heat-related issues in the U.S. Continue reading