Signs of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion in kids

Signs of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion in Kids

4 July 2022 • Words by Stefano Ceppi 2 mins

Most children love to play outdoors, especially when the weather is hot. However, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers and signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, especially in young kids.


A heatstroke is a form of hyperthermia, which occurs when the body cannot regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises too high for the body to cope with, and in the most extreme cases, this can cause organ damage and even death.


Heat exhaustion is a less severe condition that can occur when the body is exposed to excessive heat. The body’s temperature rises, but not to the same level as heatstroke.


Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can occur in children playing in hot weather. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of both conditions so that you can get medical help if your child is affected.

The signs and symptoms of heatstroke include: 


If you think your child has heatstroke, it’s important to get medical help immediately; call 911 or your local emergency number. While waiting for medical assistance, try to cool your child down. Move them to a cool indoor area or a shady area outdoors, and remove any excess clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to their skin or give them a cool bath. Do not give them anything to drink.

The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:


If you think your child has heat exhaustion, get them out of the heat and either indoors or into a cool, shady area. Remove excess clothing and have the child lie down. Apply cool, wet cloths to their skin and bathe them in cold water. If your child’s symptoms don’t improve, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Ways to prevent heatstroke and heat exhaustion in children include:




Regarding the need for children to stay hydrated, and how much water is recommended for children of different ages, see this article (“Hydration Tips for Children,” n.d.).


This is the first summer in two years—and for some, even three years—that our children can fully enjoy summer activities the old-fashioned way. Take the heat into account, but don’t let that stop them from having fun!




Hydration tips for children. (n.d.). Healthdirect.

  • Stefano Ceppi

    Neurodivergent father of two, and here to share what I've learned thus far! Qualified 200h RYT, AIMS Global Level 1 Mentor.