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Protect Children from Heat Related Illnesses this Summer

As temperatures soar in central Georgia, it is important to remember that infants and children are at high risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Each summer, children fall victim to heat related illnesses that can be prevented with proper caution and care.

"As the temperatures in central Georgia climb, parents should be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and how to prevent these potentially life-threatening illnesses," said Rogelio Dela Cruz, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent.

Parents should be aware of the following heat related illnesses:

Heat exhaustion is a severe reaction to heat exposure. Signs include weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache and finally, collapse. The skin becomes cold and clammy while pupils dilate, and body temperature and blood pressure become lower.

Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition, if the body is unable to cool itself. The person may become confused and lethargic, the body ceases to sweat, body temperature will rise rapidly, and seizure may occur.

Physicians at Beverly Knight Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital (BKO) and the Pediatric Emergency Center ask parents to safeguard their children from the heat related illnesses by:

Remaining indoors during the hottest parts of the day, generally 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Remaining hydrated by consuming water and sports drinks that replace electrolytes.

Wearing proper clothing in the heat.

Not leaving children in car seats or unattended in hot cars, even for short periods of time.

If heat-related illness does occur, the experts at BKO and Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist families with specialized care.

"Children need a children's hospital, and you shouldn't have to wait for expert care. Our emergency center is designed specifically to meet the needs of children, and to put them at ease in what can often be a frightening situation. Parents can also have peace of mind knowing their children are being cared for by the region's leading pediatricians and specialists," said Dr. Dela Cruz.

Located at 770 Pine Street in Macon, the Pediatric Emergency Center provides direct access to the many pediatricians and children's specialists at Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital. A children's waiting area and minimal wait times ensure families receive quick access to care in a child-friendly patient room.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit