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<< Pediatric Heat-Related Illness: Recommendations for Prevention and Management

Differential Diagnosis

Heat-related illness occurs along a continuum from heat stress, to heat exhaustion, to heat stroke. The signs and symptoms of the different stages of the illness can overlap.

  • Heat stress is characterized by perceived discomfort and physiologic strain, including heat cramps, while a normal core temperature is maintained.48-50
  • Heat exhaustion is characterized by a rise in body temperature usually associated with dehydration, with a core body temperature < 40°C (104°F). Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, myalgias, profuse sweating, intense thirst, tachycardia, syncope, and headache, with the absence of severe neurological symptoms.48-53

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Last Modified: 11/23/2017
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