-- WARNING: Heatstroke --
One of the other dangers of being out in warm sunny weather is the risk of sunstroke or heatstroke. This happens when the body gets too hot and can no longer cool itself and can be very dangerous.
A sunstroke is usually defined by a person having a body temperature of 105.1 degrees F (40.6 degrees C) because of heat exposure and the inability to regulate body temperature.
Causes can include:
-- Age-related body changes or illness
-- Substances that inhibit the body's ability to cool and cause dehydration such as alcohol, caffeine, stimulants, medications,
Kids and even adults playing and exercising outside in the sun are at risk because time can slip by quickly!
Be aware of signs and symptoms, prevention tips, and what to do if it happens.
The precursor to a heat stroke is Heat Exhaustion and symptoms may include:
- heavy sweating
- a fast but weak pulse
- rapid breathing
- red face and look very hot.
Symptoms of Heatstroke can include:
- Dry skin and lack of sweating
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Pale or very faint
- Feeling ill
Also be aware of Signs of Dehydration:
Headache, fatigue, dizziness, lethargy, dark urine (thirst is not always a reliable indicator but color of urine is a better indicator -- aim for almost clear to light yellow urine)
- Drink lots of liquids (water best) to prevent dehydration.
- Bring kids inside or under shade or umbrella about every hour to cool off
- Don’t overdress for the hot conditions, so wear light and loose-fitting clothing to allow your perspiration to evaporate to help cool your body
- Avoid plastic fabrics that do not allow the body to cool, especially in humid environments
- Wear wide-brimmed, light-colored hats with vents to allow perspiration to cool the head and neck
- Don't be overly active in hot weather
- Take time to cool off periodically
- Stay out of enclosed spaces without ventilation
- Keep children and pets out of cars during hot weather, even with the windows open -- the inside temperature can easily reach 200 degrees F. in a VERY SHORT TIME and cause death very quickly!
If You Suspect Heatstroke:
- CALL for help immediately (911 or equivalent)
- Move them to cool place, shade, or indoors with AC
- Remove some clothing to promote heat loss and passive cooling
- Give cool liquids right away
- Sponge person down with cool water (never ice) from the head down to help body cool off but do not wrap the person in wet towels and leave them there
- A fan or dehumidifying air conditioner can help
- If available, immersing the patient into a small tub or kids pool of cool water (not cold!) can help lower their core temperature, but needs supervision by several people to keep head out of water and monitor until help arrives
- Monitor their airway and have people available to do CPR if necessary
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