Is your child’s school aware of heat stroke/ heat exhaustion?
Last week, a friend of mine received a phone call from school. His daughter had been vomiting, could he please come in and pick her up. He thought about the heatwave we were in, grabbed a thermometer and a cool pack, and headed to school. His daughter was just sat there, with her full uniform on, having barely drunk all day.
He took one look at her, and his suspicion was immediately confirmed. Heat stroke or heat exhaustion. And sure enough, her temperature was 39.1, she had dry skin, had a headache, suffered from tummy pain, was lethargic and had a very fast heart rate of 140. She suffered from heat exhaustion.
School staff had not recognized her symptoms, had not thought that spending three hours outside in the blazing sun was too much; nor had they thought to check all the children were drinking enough water. They hadn't even considered her illness might have had anything to do with the heat.
One day later, another friend of mine told a very similar story, albeit her daughter was in a school at the other end of the country. Again, school had not recognized nor treated the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion.
How many other kids suffered from this last week, throughout the heat wave? And how few schools thought their discomfort was related to the overly warm temperatures? How many more will suffer and go on suffering, their signs and symptoms unrecognized by those meant to take good care of them?