[toc]Heat stroke is heat injury that personifies soaring body temperatures often greater than 40.6⁰ Celsius mainly due to prolonged exposure to environmental heat and dehydration that causes an abrupt failure of the body’s temperature regulatory system.
Heat stroke is a heat illness which is completely different from fever; fever involves a physiological rise in the body’s temperature. Both young and old adults and even children are susceptible to this illness.Therefore, heat stroke occurs when the continuous rise in the body’s temperature causes it to overheat.
Without immediate treatment heat stroke could have serious repercussions as it can damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. Things could go out of hand if the condition is left untreated for long hours and as such the possibility of encountering serious complications or even death cannot be ruled out.
However, life never stops. If at all one has to venture out on a scorching hot day, there are several precautionary measures that can prevent you from becoming a victim of this illness. This article lists some of the best known preventive measures that can be helpful for you.
Various Prevention For Heat Stroke
If you have to stay out on an extremely hot day ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day. Continuous intake of fluids especially water makes the body sweat which in turn helps to maintain a normal body temperature. Dehydration is in fact one of the major causes of heat stroke.
Therefore, even if you are not thirsty, keep on drinking water at regular intervals as this is the only way that helps to beat the heat. Regardless of whether you are exercising, working or simply staying indoors on a hot day, your body needs hydration to maintain a normal temperature. Even a one percent loss in body weight due to dehydration causes the body’s temperature to rise by at least half a degree.
In the same vein don’t forget the salinity level of the body also decreases due to excessive sweating. Therefore, replenish your body with the required amount of salt and other minerals that is lost while perspiring by consuming sports beverages like Gatorade. Prepare your body to fight the heat by drinking a minimum of 10 to 15 glasses of water. Remember to carry a water bottle if you have to stay outdoors for long hours. However, avoid drinking extremely cold water as it could lead to cramps in the stomach.
Dressing appropriately refers to wearing clothes according to the weather. When the temperatures are soaring you must take every precaution to protect yourself from an emergency. Rising body temperature is not what you need on a hot summer day.
Therefore, before venturing out, select clothes that will be compatible to the weather outside. Tight fitting clothes or excess clothing will only add to your woes on a hot day as they will not allow your body to cool properly. Hence, it is advisable to wear loose fitting and light colored clothes as they help to control the body’s temperature by reflecting the sun’s rays.
Dark clothes absorb heat and raise the body’s temperature and as such proves to be extremely uncomfortable often suffocating under the sun. Along with the color, pay attention to the material of the clothing too. Thin clothing like cotton is best suited for a hot day as it allows the sweat to evaporate and subsequently minimize the body’s temperature. Therefore, another way of preventing heat stroke is to wear only light colored, airy, cotton clothing.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
Extremely high temperatures during the day are never conducive for undertaking any kind of strenuous activity. Working under the direct heat of the sun could cause severe exhaustion and fatigue that could ultimately lead to heat stroke.
Therefore, it is always better to avoid activities like sports, running or jogging for long periods, weight lifting, gardening etc. during the day and schedule them for another time when the temperatures are much cooler like early morning or late in the evening.
Working under the direct heat of the sun even for a few hours could dehydrate you faster than normal and raise the body’s temperature which eventually could prove to be fatal. However, if it is something that you cannot avoid then remember not to overexert yourself and take proper precautions, like breaks in between activities and keeping yourself amply hydrated throughout the day.
To prevent heat strokes try to stay indoors as much as you can on a hot sunny day. Strictly avoid direct exposure to the sun especially during the afternoons when the temperatures are the highest. Unless an emergency, avoid venturing out during the day. Try to keep the atmosphere of your home as cool as possible.
Constantly check your room’s temperature and if you find it too hot shift to a cooler room particularly for sleeping. Windows that draw the heat from outside must be kept closed most of the day during the summers.
Open them only when the temperatures drop i.e. at night or late in the evening. Minimize the use of bright lights at home as they tend to generate heat which raises the room’s temperature.
Recognize The Symptoms
To prevent a heat stroke it is very important to recognize its initial symptoms. The onset of exhaustion is the first indication of heatstroke; at first the skin becomes warm and red and subsequently you may start sweating in an attempt to dissipate the heat from the body. As dehydration sets in, the sweating stops abruptly due to the compression of the blood vessels in the skin.
You may begin to feel nauseated and light headed, as if you are about to faint. Experiencing severe headache which does not go away even after drinking plenty of water is another indication of heatstroke. In this case you may even tend to vomit. The moment you start experiencing these symptoms try to get indoors as soon as possible or else find a shady place maybe under a tree or a large building.
Immediately stop every activity and cool off by drinking water or pouring water over your head and body. Severe heat stroke can even cause death. Therefore, if matters go out of hand without taking much risk call emergency medical assistance.We know that prevention is better than cure and heat stroke being a perfectly controllable illness the above mentioned preventive measures can be handy.