What Causes Heat Cramps – Heat Cramps Symptoms

Millions of individuals will experience some sort of heat exhaustion. It is a result of the body becoming overheated, which will result in dehydration cramps and other heat exhaustion symptoms. Below you will discover what causes heat cramps and much more.

Heat Exhaustion Definition

Heat related illnesses will run through a serious of stages ranging from heat cramps and all the way up to heat stroke, with heat exhustion being right in the middle. Of course, the victim must perspire enough to loose precious body fluids and electrolytes. Sweating is a result of the body trying to cool off, by evaporating the sweat.

Heat Exhaustion in Children

It is crucial that your children are encouraged to rehydrate, during playtime, when exposed to high temperatures. While children are not very adamant about complaining with illnesses, when they are playing outdoors and having fun, you should pay attention to their behavior. Arm yourself with information about what is heat exhaustion and what to do for heat exhaustion. This medical data can help save your child from an ER visit or potential heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion in toddlers and children can be very dangerous and lead to life threatening conditions. By taking the measures to protect your children from risks of dehydration and heat exhaustion, your child will be able to play for many hours, without experiencing any symptoms. Provide them with sufficient rest periods and fluids, while encouraging them to stay in the shade and out of direct sunlight.

What Causes Heat Cramps

Intermittent (brief) abdominal and muscle cramps is caused by loss of electrolytes (sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium), which can become unbalanced, due to excessive sweating. Hyponatremia (low sodium levels) is a very serious condition that is linked to heat cramps.

Symptoms of Heat Cramps and Heat Exhaustion

  • Abdominal and Generalized muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Involuntary/Intermittent muscle jerks or spasms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness/Lightheadedness

Now that you know what are heat cramps, you will be ready to learn the treatment for heat exhaustion.

Treatment for Dehydration and Treating Heat Exhaustion

  • Oral rehydration (water, sports drinks) and try to drink 2 quarts of liquids every 2-4 hours, if possible
  • IV fluids (if victim is incapable of replacing fluids, by oral consumption)
  • Go indoors, where it is cool
  • Remove excess clothing, if possible
  • Elevate lower extremities above heart

A homemade drink that is very safe for adults and children over the age of 12 can be concocted from 1 quart tap water, 6 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon table salt, but only consume small sips at a time, within a 24-hour time frame.

Heat Stroke

It is vital that you monitor the individual’s condition for at least the first 24-hours. If the conditions worsen at any time, you should call 911 immediately. Some symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Lethargy
  • Seizure activity
  • Temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher Fahrenheit in infants (rectal) under the age of 3 months and infants between 3-6 months with a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Children between the ages of 6-24 months 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Temperatures in adults 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Hallucinations/Confusion
  • Inability to sweat

Heat stroke occurs, when the body’s cooling mechanism is compromised. Infants and elderly adults are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion, because they are not able to dissipate heat.