KEEP YOUR COOL: Know the signs of heat stroke and how to prevent it from happening

Heat stroke is a serious condition that occurs when the body overheats, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in hot weather. It is important to be aware of the signs of heat stroke and take preventive measures to avoid it. Here are some signs of heat stroke and tips on how to prevent it.

With temperatures kissing the 110-degree mark, it’s time to revisit heat safety while you’re out on the tennis courts, at the swimming pool and on the golf course.

Heat stroke is a serious condition that occurs when the body overheats, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in hot weather. It is important to be aware of the signs of heat stroke and take preventive measures to avoid it. Here are some signs of heat stroke and tips on how to prevent it:

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Signs of heat stroke:

  • High body temperature: A core body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is a key indicator of heat stroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior: This can range from confusion and agitation to disorientation and seizures.
  • Hot, red, and dry skin: Heat stroke may cause the skin to become hot and dry, with a lack of sweating.
  • Rapid pulse and breathing: The heart rate and breathing may become fast and shallow.
  • Headache and dizziness: Heat stroke can cause throbbing headaches and feelings of lightheadedness or faintness.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Heat stroke may lead to gastrointestinal distress, including nausea and vomiting.
  • Muscle cramps and weakness: Heat stroke can cause muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue.

Preventive measures to avoid heat stroke:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing that allows your body to breathe and helps in sweat evaporation.
  • Seek shade and cool environments: When outdoors, try to stay in shaded areas or cool places. If possible, use air conditioning or fans to create a cool indoor environment.
  • Limit outdoor activities: Minimize strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10am and 4pm.
  • Take breaks and rest: If you must be active in hot conditions, take regular breaks in shaded areas and rest to allow your body to recover and cool down.
  • Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to protect your skin from sunburn, which can impair your body’s ability to cool itself.
  • Check on vulnerable individuals: Keep an eye on children, elderly individuals, and those with chronic illnesses, as they are more susceptible to heat-related problems.
  • Acclimate to the heat: If you are not accustomed to hot weather, gradually increase your exposure to heat over time to allow your body to adapt.

If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. While waiting for medical help, move the person to a cooler place, remove excessive clothing, and try to cool them down by applying cool water or ice packs to their body. Do not hesitate to call emergency services for assistance.

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