Thermal injuries: what to do and how to protect yourself

The most common victims of heat stroke and other heat-related Thermal injuries are adolescents who are active in sports and young children

Thermal injuries: what to do and how to protect yourself
Thermal injuries: what to do and how to protect yourself

In summer, the sun's rays are very active and dangerous, so there is a high risk of overheating and heat stroke. The most common victims of heat stroke and other heat-related Thermal injuries are adolescents who are active in sports and young children who are left unattended in vehicles or other areas with high temperatures (or those that can become hot under the influence of direct sunlight).

One of the tasks of physicians should be to advise the child's parents or guardians about the dangers of overheating the child and measures to prevent dehydration or heat injury, as well as to recognize these conditions.

 To protect yourself from overheating, in addition to protection with clothing, do not forget to drink enough water and rest in the cool. If heat exhaustion or heat stroke is suspected, the victim should be cooled as soon as possible

Types of heat damage

Thermal lesions are a group of pathological conditions caused by excessive exposure to high ambient temperatures and the body's inability to effectively thermo regulate. Manifestations of heat damage can vary from mild (heat hyperhidrosis, heat stress) to severe (heat stroke), because the tolerance of high temperatures is individual for each person. The reaction to overheating depends on many factors, such as general health, indoor ventilation, water balance and the ability to acclimatize (adapt to changes in temperature in the short term).

Thermal hyperhidrosis, or sweating, often occurs in infants when they overheat or are in a high humidity environment. It looks like an erythematous papular or vesicular rash caused by obstruction of the eccrine sweat glands. Treatment and prevention include wearing light, loose clothing and avoiding overheating.

Thermal edema is also a mild form of heat stroke, manifested by swelling of the legs, arms and other parts of the body. This is the result of vasodilation and venous stasis. Despite the fact that such heat damage is more common in the elderly, it can occur in children. However, the body temperature remains normal, and the phenomenon itself is not associated with heart or kidney disease.

Treatment is symptomatic: lifting the limbs, compression stockings and moving to a cooler environment. Heat cramps (or exercise-related cramps) are involuntary contractions of skeletal muscle that occur during or after exercise, often in combination with fever. environment. Seizures are usually painful. Treatment: rest, restoration of water balance, exercises aimed at stretching muscles and tendons.Thermal syncope is also associated with vasodilation and venous stasis. Is an orthostatic phenomenon

Characterized by short-term loss of consciousness, usually observed in persons who stand for a long time or abruptly change body position in conditions of elevated ambient temperature. The body temperature does not rise during this time. Treatment includes moving the child to a cool environment and staying at rest until normalization of health, as well as control of water balance.

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Heat stress is a mild form of heat injury. It manifests itself as physical exhaustion and discomfort acquired as a result of prolonged exposure to heat or in a room with high temperatures. Symptoms are usually mild, body temperature remains within normal limits.

Heat exhaustion is a condition of moderate severity, which is manifested by an increase in body temperature (in the range of 37-40 ° C). Symptoms include thirst, headache, weakness, short-term loss of consciousness, vomiting and dizziness. Often accompanied by dehydration and profuse sweating, as well as tachycardia and a sharp drop in blood pressure. An important feature of this condition, which distinguishes it from heat stroke, is the absence of disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and dysfunction of internal organs. If CNS symptoms occur (headache, moderate disorientation), they quickly disappear at rest and during cooling. Treatment includes physical rest, removal of excess outer clothing and sports equipment, moving the victim to a room with a lower air temperature, and oral or intravenous rehydration. Cooling methods may include a cool shower or cold compresses. At untimely detection thermal exhaustion can pass to a thermal shock. With timely care, symptoms resolve fairly quickly in most patients and do not require hospitalization.

Heat stroke is the most severe manifestation of heat damage and the result of thermoregulation. It is a life-threatening condition characterized by a rise in body temperature above 40 ° C, which is accompanied by CNS dysfunction and occurs due to excessive exposure to high temperatures CNS disorders can manifest as agitation, disorientation, delirium or coma. It is very important to distinguish heat stroke from heat exhaustion in time, because outwardly these states can be similar.

How to avoid heat damage in a child

When going outside on a hot summer day, be sure to wear a light panama hat and light clothes made of natural fabrics. Refrain from being in the hot season under direct sunlight with children under one year.

Remember that light-skinned children are more likely to get sunburns on their skin and eyes than dark-skinned children. Avoid being in the sun during the hot season between 10 and 15 hours. Even on cloudy days, the sun's ultraviolet rays hit bare skin and can damage it.

20-30 minutes before the walk, apply sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 25-30 units on exposed areas of the child's skin. Do not forget to apply the cream again - every 2 hours on the street and, in addition, after bathing.

Teach your child to use sunscreen: hats, sunglasses, T-shirts (especially on the beach). Children should not wear toys, but normal glasses with filters made of polycarbonate, which completely block the sun's ultraviolet rays in ranges A and B.

Do not forget that the first sunbathing of your child should not exceed 5-6 minutes, and after the formation of a tan - 8-10 minutes. Sunbathe (sunbathe) with your child no more than 2-3 times a day, with breaks during which the child should be in the shade. If possible, bring an umbrella from the sun to the beach. To prevent overheating, offer your baby a drink more often, wipe with a damp cloth, towel his face and exposed areas of the body.

What not to do with heat injury

Do not lubricate areas of the skin affected by sunburn with alcohol-containing products, as they further damage the skin and complicate healing. Do not apply fat-based substances on the affected parts of the body (Vaseline or other thick ointments, as well as various oils: sea buckthorn, sunflower, etc.), as they complicate the release of heat and sweat and, accordingly, complicate the healing of burns.

Do not use sprays and ointments containing benzocaine (anesthetic) for the treatment of sunburn in children, which can cause irritation and allergic reactions on the skin of the child.

Do not open blisters on the skin in burns. On the opened bubbles it is possible to put ointment with antibiotic (erythromycin, tetracycline, etc.) and to put a sterile, gauze napkin from above. If you do not have a napkin, you can use a clean ironed handkerchief.