How to Spot, Treat, and Prevent Heat Stroke

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27 Jul How to Spot, Treat, and Prevent Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is one of the most serious forms of heat injury. It requires immediate medical attention, for it can kill or cause serious brain damage. Heat stroke is most likely to affect elderly in homes without proper air conditioning. However, during the summer months heatstroke can affect anyone who doesn’t drink enough water, babies and children included.

We know keeping up with hydration during busy summer days is tough. But try to keep up with your daily water intake. It’s recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water on a normal day. This number can change if you’re exercising, which you should drink an extra 1.5 – 2.5 cups of water. A good goal is to drink half of your body weight in water each day.

Some symptoms of heat stroke can include the following:

  • Core body temperature over 104°F
  • Unconsciousness
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of sweating in the heat
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

When you notice someone having a heat stroke call 911 immediately. While waiting for emergency services to arrive you can start simple first aid to help the patient:

  • Move person to a cool, shady environment
  • Remove any unnecessary clothing
  • Fan air over the patient while wetting the skin
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, neck, groin, and back
  • Immerse them in a bath of cool water

Cooling the patient is the most important aspect to treating heat stroke. Preventing it is even more helpful so be aware of how much water you’re drinking and how much time you’re spending in the sun, especially when exercising. There are several heat related illness including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Each of these is a progression from one to another. Take a look at this safety guide for identifying and treating each. Stay safe and have fun!

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