We all love summertime! In the warmer months of the whole year, everything is luring us away from our couch or home – sunshine, beach, ice cream, swimming pool, BBQ… But there’s one thing we should be aware of: our golden summertime may be disturbed by a heat stroke anytime.
Knowing how to spot the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and, if you do have a heat stroke, avoid getting severer can help you and your family fully enjoy the summer. Keep reading to learn how.
What is Heat Stroke?
It is a form of hyperthermia caused by an elevation in body temperature, often accompanied by dehydration. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that will be fatal without proper treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The NHS says that heat exhaustion, the precursor to heat stroke, usually goes away within 30 minutes but can turn into heat stroke. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can be warning signs of heat stroke, which include:
· Loss of appetite
· Muscle cramps or pains
If you are having heat exhaustion for an extended period, you may develop heat stroke. But some people may suffer heat stroke suddenly. If a heat stroke occurs during sleep, symptoms may be harder to notice. Heat stroke can either lead to a lack of sweat or excessive sweat.
Signs and symptoms include:
· Heavy sweat or a lack of sweat
· Hot red or dry skin
· High body temperature
· Rapid pulse or heart rate
· Sweat excessive after intense exercise
· Shortness of breath
· Bizarre behavior
· Dilated pupils
Spotting the symptoms and take action immediately will be lifesaving.
What You Should Do in this Emergency
As mentioned above, heat stroke is life-threatening, thus seeking medical attention by calling 911 is a must. Meanwhile, what you can do to help includes:
· Move them out of the heat, to a cooler place out of direct sunlight
· Remove the sweat clothing
· Fan them and get their skin wet
· Apply ice packs or cool towels etc. to key areas (chest, groin, neck, armpits, etc.)
· Give the person cool water to drink every 15 minutes (without losing consciousness)
Without proper treatment, heat stroke leads to permanent damage of organs like:
And the risk for severe complications including death grows with the delay of treatment.
Now you may understand heat stroke better. Stay hydrated on hot days and give yourself a ‘cool’ rest from time to time. Enjoy the golden summertime!