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How to Avoid Heat Stroke

When the sun comes out, there’s nothing better than getting outside and soaking up those deliciously warm rays of summery warmth. It’s become second nature to apply sun cream when our days get hotter, but something we could all learn a little more about is heat stroke and how to avoid it.

Here are some facts and tips to help you beat heat stroke and have a healthy summer!

What exactly is heat stroke?

When your body gets too warm or too cold, it tries to regulate its temperature with a number of genius reactions, like shivering or sweating. Heat stroke happens when your body isn’t managing to cool down enough after implementing these tactics.

The symptoms of heat stroke

Heat stroke is a serious condition that only happens if the patient has been subjected to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Feels hot and dry
  • Has a temperature of above 40 degrees celsius
  • Rapid or shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness.

The difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is not serious, but can lead to heat stroke if not treated carefully.

A person with heat exhaustion gives the following signs:

  • Dizziness
  • Intense thirst
  • Loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • Cramps in arms, legs and/or stomach
  • Mild confusion
  • Headache
  • Has a temperature of above 38 degrees celsius
  • Children can become sleepy or “floppy”.

The main difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is that with heat stroke, the individual is only slightly confused, or is still able to sweat. They are responsive and able to drink water and move to shade. A patient with heat stroke may require much more support.

How to alleviate the symptoms of heat exhaustion

To stop heat exhaustion from developing into heat stroke, ensure the individual has plenty to drink. Electrolyte powders are great for quick rehydration, and there are even children’s rehydration tablets available.

It might also be a good idea to apply sunblock to stop them from burning while they’re unable to move quickly from the sun.

Try to cool the individual down. Move them to shade, or cover them with a parasol. Try spraying their skin and clothes with water, and give them a cool drink, or some ice to suck on if they feel too unwell to drink. Another great way to cool down is to place cold, wet paper towels or a flannel on the individual’s forehead.

After 30 minutes, they should be feeling much better. If they are not, or the symptoms have worsened, it is time to contact a medical professional for more specific help.

After care

Often, a person with heat stroke will also be damaged by the sun. To treat sunburn carefully, use a cream or lotion with aloe vera to soothe and protect, while cooling the area down. Make sure they drink plenty of water, too, and encourage them to keep in the shade.

There are plenty of ways to deal with heat exhaustion, but the best cure is prevention. Wear a hat, apply sunblock, drink plenty of fluids, stay in the shade when it’s really hot and be aware that the sun’s rays are still just as strong while in the water, or if there is a breeze or cloud cover.

Stay safe and enjoy the sun!

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs, stop using the product or medication immediately and seek medical advice.

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