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Preventing Heatstroke During Hot Weather

The warning signs of heatstroke and how to prevent it

Preventing Heatstroke During Hot Weather

Heatstroke is a condition caused by our body when it overheats. Heatstroke is usually a result of prolonged exposure to high temperature or to physical exertion in high temperatures. Heatstroke can cause the body's temperature to rise to 104 F or higher. Untreated heatstroke can result in damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles or even death. That is why it is so important to understand the warning signs of heatstroke and how to prevent it in ourselves as well as our children.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of a Heatstroke

Heatstroke symptoms include:

  • An Extremely High Body Temperature: 104 F or higher
  • Altered Mental State or Behavior: Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma.
  • Lack of Sweat: When suffering from a heatstroke, your skin will feel dry and hot.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Flushed Skin
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Racing Heart Rate
  • Headache

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is important that you call 9-1-1 immediately and get the individual to a hospital as soon as possible. In the meantime, make sure the individual is hydrated, in the shade or indoors, and has removed any excess clothing.

How to Prevent Heatstroke

Heatstroke is 100% preventable. Take these crucial steps to preventing heatstroke:

  • Wear lightweight clothing. This goes for any children as well.
  • Protect against sunburn. Use at least SPF 15 on yourself and your children. Reapply ever two hours.
  • Drink fluids often. Stay hydrated and make sure kids and other loved ones are constantly hydrated.
  • Take extra precautions with certain medications: If you take certain meds, your body's ability to stay hydrated may be compromised.
  • Never EVER leave a child alone in a hot car: On average, 38 children die of heatstroke in hot cars every year. When a car is parked in the sun, the temperature of your car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Even if the windows are open and the car is in the shade, it is never a good idea to leave a child in a hot car.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors during the hottest parts of the day: If you can, avoid working out during the hottest parts of the day. Schedule your workout in the early morning or late evening.

Heatstroke can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. It is also 100% preventable. Make sure you are taking the proper precautions to avoid heatstroke in you or a loved one.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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