With Summer in full swing, there is a lot going on. But amidst the projects, the gatherings, the workouts and adventures is a reoccurring threat during these hotter months – the heat. As temperatures dwell in the high 80s and 90s, it’s important to know the dangers of heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when your body is overheated. It is usually triggered by spending too much time in high temperatures or exerting too much physical effort under intense heat conditions.
1Other factors that may in part increase the risk of heatstroke are drinking alcohol, being dehydrated and wearing excess clothing.
1Heatstroke is a dangerous condition and if not treated immediately can cause serious damage to various parts of your body, including your muscles, kidneys, and even your brain and heart. The longer the condition goes untreated, the greater the risk of damage.
1Symptoms of heatstroke include the following:
- High body temperature
- Unusual mental state or behavior such as slurred speech, agitation, and confusion
- Nausea, stomach sickness, and vomiting
- Rapid, shallow breathing and an abnormally fast heartrate
- Hot, dry skin (due to hot weather) or slightly moist/sweaty skin (due to overexertion)
In the event that you believe someone may be experiencing heatstroke, it’s wise to get medical help immediately; call emergency services.
1Taking the following actions while waiting for emergency treatment can be vital:
- Getting the person into a cool place such as a shaded area or in a cool room indoors
- Applying ice packs/cold wet towels
- Spraying with cool water
- Fanning (with cool air – such as an air conditioner)
- Removing unnecessary or excess clothing
1To prevent heatstroke, know the signs and take these precautions to avoid it:
- Stay hydrated
- Protect yourself from sunburn with sunscreen, a brimmed hat, and sunglasses
- Do not wait (or leave children in) a parked car – even with the windows cracked
- Wear loose, lightweight clothes
- Plan around the hottest part of the day – try to do more strenuous activities during the early morning or in the evening
- Take breaks to rest and stay out of the heat
To learn more about heatstroke symptoms, causes and prevention, visit the Mayo Clinic heatstroke information page.
1 Heatstroke - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581