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Baby dies in 49 degree heat in Arizona

A four-month-old baby died after being exposed to extreme heat while visiting Lake Havasu in Arizona with his parents.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office confirmed to TODAY that Tanna Rae Wroblewski died of heat-related injuries on July 5 after temperatures in the area reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Investigators have responded and the investigation is ongoing,” agency spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said in a written statement.

Tanna was taken by boat to Havasu Regional Medical Center and then flown by helicopter to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

“They did everything in their power to resuscitate her, but God had other plans and took Tanna to heaven that night,” Devynn Wolf, the baby's aunt, wrote on GoFundMe.

On Facebook, Tanna's mother, Alyssa Wroblewski, shared pictures of her deceased daughter beaming from ear to ear on a beach.

“These are the last photos I took of you before you left us,” Wroblewski wrote in a July 8 post. “Your smile radiated joy… I never thought there would be a day in my life without you.”

Wroblewski said in her post that the whole family is struggling to understand what happened.

“It was hard explaining your loss to your sister. We don't understand why you had to go, how could she?” Wroblewski wrote. “She left toys out for you and made sure your favorite things were all in the crib on the last nights before bed. We are so heartbroken without you, little girl.”

On June 23, Wroblewski posted photos of her husband, Matthew, and their two young children at Lake Havasu, a popular vacation spot known as the “jet ski capital of the world.” Tanna is sitting on a floating canopy lounger with a light blanket draped over her lap.

Dr. Laurel O'Connor, a pediatric emergency physician at UMass Memorial Center, points out that water does not protect people from heat-related dangers.

“That's a common misconception. People think, 'Oh, I'm going to go swimming – that'll cool me down,'” O'Connor tells TODAY.com. “You can actually get dehydrated More quickly in water.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies, toddlers and young children should not spend long periods of time outdoors when temperatures are 90 degrees or higher.

O'Connor recommends avoiding being outdoors altogether during a heatwave – especially when humidity is high.

“An infant can't talk to us and tell us they're too hot or they're dizzy,” O'Connor tells TODAY.com. Babies' bodies can't regulate their temperature as well as adults', she says, “which puts them at a higher risk of overheating.”

O'Connor points out that prolonged exposure to heat can cause neurological problems, dehydration, kidney failure and death. Signs of heat stress include irritability and pale, clammy skin.

“If you notice these symptoms, the situation is critical and you need to cool the child down,” she explains. “This doesn't mean you should put your child in an ice bath. You should use cool, moist compresses and fans. And if he continues to show signs of discomfort, you should call 911.”

And finally, do not wrap your baby up too warmly and make sure that he or she gets enough fluids with infant formula or breast milk.

“Breastfeeding mothers need to make sure they drink enough water,” says O'Connor. “If the mother is dehydrated and not producing, the baby will also be dehydrated.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com.

Anna Harden

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