The summer heat is here and while it can be enjoyable, it can also cause harm to you or a loved one. Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise, often to 40°C (104°F) or higher. There are many ways you can prevent heatstroke from happening.

Make sure you wear loose fitting clothing, wearing something tight can trap heat. Stay hydrated and always have a water bottle with you. Avoid alcohol as much as possible as it can speed up dehydration and increase chances of heatstroke. When working outdoors, playing, or even just lounging, watch for symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Throbbing headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Lack of sweat for the heat
  • Red, hot or dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Seizures or unconsciousness
  • Rapid heartbeat that can be weak or strong
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation or staggering

According to HealthLinkBC, to treat someone exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Move the person into a cool place, out of direct sunlight and remove any unnecessary clothing to expose as much skin surface to the air as possible.
  • Cool the person’s entire body by sponging or spraying cold water and fan the person to help lower their body temperature. Watch for signs of rapidly progressing heatstroke, such as seizure, unconsciousness for longer than a few seconds and moderate to severe difficulty breathing.
  • Check the person’s rectal temperature and try to reduce it to 39°C (102°F) or lower as soon as possible. The longer the body is at a high temperature, the more serious the illness and the more likely it is that complications will develop. Temperatures taken by mouth or in the ear are not accurate in this emergency situation.
  • Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce a high body temperature that can occur with heatstroke. These medicines may cause problems because of the body’s response to heatstroke.
  • Give them fluids for hydration.

I hope you all stay safe and have a good summer!

Submitted by Daemon Naistus