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Heat Stroke (cont.)

Heat Stroke Causes

The major cause of heat stroke is prolonged exposure to high temperatures and/or doing strenuous activity in hot weather. The body's ability to control the core temperature (sweating, evaporative cooling, for example) is overwhelmed by heat.

Infants, children, pregnant females and the elderly are at higher risk for heat stroke because they are less able to control their core temperature.

Other causes that can contribute to the condition of heat stroke are:

  • Dehydration
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Dide effects of certain medications (for example, dehydration, increased urination, sweating)
  • Wearing excess and/or tight clothing can contribute to causing heat stroke by inhibiting cooling by evaporation.
  • Sunburn

Another cause of heat stroke that often results in death is leaving a child or pet in a vehicle that is not well ventilated or cooled. The average number of child fatalities due to heatstroke from being left in a car has averaged 37 deaths per year since 1998.

  • About 53% of the children were "forgotten" and left in a vehicle by an adult,
  • about 17% were intentionally left inside by an adult, and
  • the remainder were mainly children that shut themselves in an unattended vehicle.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2015

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