Being outside in the hot summer weather can be fun, but you need to know the various heat stroke facts. Being overheated is something very serious, and something I have first-hand experience with. A few years ago I went hiking with my mom, and she developed heat exhaustion despite the fact that she was drinking plenty of water. Fortunately, her condition did not progress to heat stroke, but it was still scary. To prevent heat stroke from happening to you or someone you know, you need to know the heat stroke facts.
1. What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke is the last stage of being overheated, and it occurs when body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It can happen if heat exhaustion isn’t treated swiftly. Heat stroke is very serious and can be life-threatening, which is why it is important to know all of the heat stroke facts.
While having a body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is one of the symptoms of heat stroke, there are other symptoms as well. People with heat stroke will become nauseated and possibly vomit. They will also have flushed skin, rapid breathing, and an increased heart rate. Heat stroke causes muscle cramps and weakness, headaches, confusion, and a lack of sweating. In very severe cases, people may even lose consciousness.
3. People at High Risk
While anyone can develop heat stroke, certain people are at higher risk. Infants and the elderly are two groups that are at risk for developing heat stroke. Athletes are especially vulnerable to getting heat stroke. Working out in the hot summer weather can easily make people overheated, especially if they are not hydrated.
4. Medications Increase Risk of Heat Stroke
Certain medications can increase the risk of heat stroke because they change how the body reacts to heat. Allergy medications, blood pressure medications, heart medications, laxatives, diuretics, seizure medications, antidepressants, and anti-psychotics all put people at an increased risk for heat stroke. As you can see, some of these medications are quite common, so it is important to take note if you or someone you know takes any of these medications.
5. What to do
If someone does get heat stroke, it is important to act fast. The first step you should take is to call 911. Next, the person needs to be cooled down. Bring them inside or to a shady area and remove as much clothing as possible, and put ice packs under their armpits. You should also give them some cool water or fluid to drink. Just be sure they don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, which are dehydrating.
If someone does suffer from heat stroke, they need to take time to recover. The body can be sensitive to heat for about a week after having heat stroke. Therefore, it is wise to stay out of the heat and avoid strenuous exercise. Also, it is important to rest. Most importantly, it is important to follow the doctor's advise on recuperating from heat stroke.
To prevent heat stroke, you should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Also, if you are sweating a lot, you need to replenish your electrolytes, which you can do with a sports drink or coconut water. Another great way to prevent heat stroke is to wear clothing that is lightweight, light colored, and loose.
Heat stroke is very serious, and being informed about heat stroke can help you prevent it from happening. Having fun outside is one of the best parts about summer, but you do need to make sure you take steps to stay safe in the heat. Did you know what to do if someone experiences heat stroke?