Emergency room ‘nothing but children’ after heat overtakes Virginia middle schoolers

A school field trip to a minor league baseball game in Virginia ended with 23 sixth- and seventh-grade students treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration on Tuesday, according to WSLS and other news outlets.

The outbreak became so overwhelming that “first responders set up a triage area... to evaluate and then transport kids to the hospital,” the station said.

It happened Tuesday afternoon as the Pulaski Yankees were hosting their “first-ever Field Trip Day” for 1,800 students from four districts, The Southwest Times said.

Parent Rebecca Shears says she was among those who got a call about sick child, after her daughter was hospitalized with cramps, according to WDBJ.

“The weirdest part was... walking through the emergency room, because you could see all of the children lined up, and it looked like the entire emergency room was nothing but children,” Shears told WDBJ.

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Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said some of the students showed up for the game wearing “sweatshirts and long pants,” which added to the problem, The Southwest Times reported. “A combination of sugar and heat on a day like today can have the effect we’re seeing,” he told the news site.

Temperatures had begun to reach the mid-90s when students began exhibiting symptoms of “heat exposure,” according to the Roanoke Times.

Sixteen of the hospitalized students were from from Pulaski County Schools, according to a statement posted by the district on Facebook. All were were treated and released “for heat related issues,” including dehydration, said the post.

Commenters on the district’s post were largely supportive of the school district.

“My daughter was treated and sent home... I DO NOT hold the school or ballpark responsible 4 the outcome,” wrote Wesley Shockley. “Extremely hot day, a lot of people, things happen ...Kids need to get out, experience new things, and enjoy their childhood.”

“My grandson was 1 of the kids taken to the hospital,” posted Lillian Linkous. “Thanks to all involved in making sure he got the best of care. This was no fault of the school.”

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