A 12-year-old boy is fighting for his life after getting heatstroke during soccer practice.
Johnny Tolbert was playing with friends at Welcome All Park in Atlanta, Georgia, last Thursday at 7.30pm – when temperatures were above 90 degrees.
An hour before sunset, he collapsed into a seizure.
Now, after a week of treatments to revive him, doctors have told his family his chances of survival are slim.
Johnny Tolbert (pictured) was playing with friends at Welcome All Park in Atlanta, Georgia, last Thursday at 7.30pm – when temperatures were above 90 degrees. An hour before sunset, he collapsed into a seizure
He has suffered acute brain damage, that will affect his ability to walk and play sports if he survives.
Johnny’s devastated family was stood outside Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston on Friday waiting for news.
‘It’s definitely on the brink of being fatal. We’ll know within 24 hours,’ his aunt, Razhonge Landers, told WSB-TV.
‘They’re pretty confident that it’s a heatstroke, still what they’re leaning towards, he should have somewhat recovered by now.
‘We’re just praying for healing and total recovery and we’re just leaning on God for that instead of pointing fingers.’
Welcome All Panthers, the football league which Tolbert had just started playing for, is now issuing warning to parents on hydration.
Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness.
It drives body temperature above 106 degrees in just minutes.
Symtpoms include hot, red, dry skin, a rapid and strong pulse, dizziness, and falling unconscious.
The condition can mimic the effects of alcohol or drugs, given the sufferer slurred speech.
In most cases, it is preceded by heat exhaustion, which involves heavy sweating, weakness, cold skin, weak pulse, vomiting and fainting.
Once the person’s skin becomes hot to touch, they need to call 911.
Johnny’s family was stood outside Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston on Friday waiting for news
This is the park where Johnny was playing soccer at 7.30pm last week, amid Atlanta’s scorching heat wave
In an article published on Daily Mail Online this week, ER doctor Janyce Sanford of Alabama University outlined the need-to-know tips for staying safe in the sun.
The most important point is staying hydrated.
Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or active outside.
Crucially, you should not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
Whenever possible, retreat to an air-conditioned space with shade.
For adequate protection, dermatologists advise everyone – no matter how easily you burn – to wear at least SPF 30.
A Consumer Reports study recently found you need to wear at least SPF 60, since a number of commercial bottles did not stand up to testing.
Reapply every one or two hours.
And Dr Sanford advises wearing a cap or a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, and loose, lightweight clothing.
It is best to wear bright colors to reflect the UV rays away from your body. Black absorbs the rays.
Sanford also adds: ‘Don’t forget to check on elderly friends and neighbors. The heat is difficult for pets, too, so bring your dogs and cats inside during the worst of the day’s heat.’