Summer is here and the weather is warming up! This means more outdoor activities, sports and heat injuries. Heat stroke is when the body temperature reaches 105 degrees or higher. It is a serious injury caused by dehydration and extensive sun exposure in high temperatures. Heat stroke occurs mostly with people over the age of 50, but it can also affect young athletes.
Heat stroke can cause:
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of consciousness
- painful headache
- hot, red skin
- muscle cramps and weakness
- fast heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- brain and organ damage
- sometimes death
If you notice someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 immediately. If you know first aid, perform that until help arrives. While you wait for help to arrive, try these steps as well:
- If there is water around, apply it to their skin
- If ice packs are nearby, place them by the neck, back, armpit or groin to help reduce heat near the blood vessels.
- Place cool, wet washcloths/towels on body
- Help put the person in a cool shower or ice bath
Heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke. If you are feeling tired and fatigued, find a shaded area or building to rest in and drink lots of water. If you are outside exercising or playing a sport, make sure to bring extra water and wear a broadband sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Make sure to check the heat index if humidity is great than 60% and the temperature is 90 degrees or warmer outside. When combined, these factors can keep the body from sweating, which raises body temperature. Keep yourself protected from the heat this summer!