Avoiding Heat Stroke and Dehydration

With the heat waves we have been experiencing this summer, it is important to know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Spending time out of doors in the summer can be such a nice way to spend your day but be aware of the hot sun sneaking up on you.

If you notice these symptoms early on, you will have an easier time avoiding becoming very ill. The symptoms of heat stroke to look out for are headache, dizziness, light-headedness, lack of sweating even though it is very hot outside, red, hot and/or dry skin, muscle weakness or cramping in muscles, nausea, vomiting, a rapid heartbeat and rapid, shallow breathing.

As you can see, dehydration can play a large roll in getting heat stroke. Make sure to keep a bottle of water close by when you are outside and have a plan to get into the shade – even if all you have is a hat. Don’t stay directly in the hot sun for long periods of time. For instance if you are at the beach, go into the water every once and a while to cool off or move your blanket under a big tree to take advantage of the shade. If you do think you have heat exhaustion which can lead to heat stroke, get out of the sun as soon as possible. Go indoors or find some shade. Lie down with your legs elevated, put a wet/cool cloth on your head or get into a tub with cool water. Make sure you hydrate as much as possible during this time period. If you do become nauseous, you want to make sure you are keeping some water in your system. If 15 minutes go by and you don’t start to feel better, you should seek medical attention to ensure it doesn’t lead to heat stroke.