Health

Prevent Heatstroke: Eight Smart Tips for Families

After a terrible tragedy in Texas, how to stay fit, have fun — and beat the heat in the great outdoors this summer

A very sad story has made the rounds the last few days — enough to bring devoted parents and caregivers everywhere to tears.

A Texas high school student passed away of heatstroke while on a Boy Scout backpacking trip, the El Paso County medical examiner’s office ruled on Friday.

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The boy was only 15, as Fox News and other outlets reported.

While hiking in Fort Davis, Texas, at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch on June 12 along with other Boy Scouts, Reid Comita collapsed. The group had apparently been hiking for hours on end in the heat at the ranch, which is just north of Big Bend National Park.

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“Temperatures hovered in the upper 90s that day, with the heat index hitting above 100 degrees,” Fox News noted.

An emergency call was made to the local sheriff’s office, according to the Star-Telegram, in the late afternoon. Once authorities were able to reach him, paramedics and guides performed CPR for more than an hour, the teen’s father, John Comita Jr., wrote in an anguished note on Facebook — but alas, the boy passed away at about 6:30 p.m.

The Star-Telegram shared these details about the boy:

Comita was a member of [his high school’s] men’s chorus and show choir as a ninth-grader during the 2016-17 school year.

He also was a member of the Okai Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America: Order of the Arrow.

Comita’s family noted in his obituary that he was getting ready to take driving lessons, loved the color orange, cheese pizza, Chick-fil-A and Lily, the family dog.

The teen was working on his last mandatory merit badge, the camping merit badge, when he died while on the hike, his family said.

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No parent or family should have to suffer such a tragedy; no child — or anyone for that matter — should die of heatstroke.

The condition occurs when a person’s body temperature reaches to 104 degrees or higher, and “prolonged physical activity or heat exposure can cause the condition,” as Fox News mentioned in its report.

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“Please remember him in your thoughts and prayers,” the teen’s grieving father wrote on Facebook. “Pray for my family for strength and remember Reid as a loving caring young man. He hated no one and saw the best in everyone.” (go to page 2 to continue reading) [lz_pagination]

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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