If you’ve lived in Texas for most of your life, then you probably know that although it’s only springtime, around this time of year we’re already experiencing what feels like summer. Our weather can get hot really fast, and because of this, unfortunately, some people develop a condition known as heat stroke by the time we hit the real summer months. Want to stay cool throughout the spring and all summer? Here’s what you should know about heatstroke and how to prevent it:
What is Heat Stroke?
Heatstroke—also known as sunstroke—occurs when the body temperature dramatically increases over a period of time. Oftentimes, this condition is seen with dehydration, which is what happens when your body lacks the water it needs to continue functioning regularly.
The signs and symptoms of heatstroke
The most regular symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Sudden confusion or delusions
- Trouble walking
- Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) or higher
- Altered mental state or behavior
- Flushed skin
- Rapid/shallow breathing
- Increased heart rate
How to Prevent Heat Stroke
The best way to prevent heatstroke from occurring is to make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather. By staying hydrated, you’re providing your body with enough water to maintain its normal functions, such as maintaining your body temperature by allowing you to sweat. In addition, avoiding or reducing how much vigorous activity you perform outdoors in the hot sun will significantly reduce your chances of dehydration as well as heatstroke. Other ways you can prevent heat stroke include:
- Wearing loose, lightweight clothing – By wearing loose and light clothing, you can allow your body room to breathe and sweat efficiently and effectively.
- Wear sunblock or sunscreen – A sunburn can actually affect your body’s ability to cool itself, so it’s important that you properly protect your skin against sunburn by wearing sunblock or sunscreen in addition to sunglasses or a sunhat for full protection.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can safely perform activities outdoors without being at risk for heatstroke. If you experience any of the heatstroke symptoms listed above, please stop by our facility so we can provide you with prompt treatment.
Anyone can develop heatstroke, however, few circumstances raise a person’s risk. Here are some risk factors:
- Being dehydrated
- Being overweight
- Exercising outdoors
- Field Work/outdoor work
- Requiring air conditioning
Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and alcohol abuse increase the risk of heat stroke.
Tips For Preventing Heat Stroke
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid being in a parked car
- Wear loose-fitting clothing outdoors
- Exercise indoors or early in the morning
- Take usual “cool down” breaks in the shade if you work outdoors
- Use sunscreen
- Restrict alcohol
- Swap outdoor activities for indoor ones