Heatstroke Prevention

If your body overheats because you’ve been out in the heat for too long or overexerted yourself in the heat, this is called a heatstroke. A heatstroke is incredibly dangerous, especially for seniors and young children, and it requires emergency treatment. If it’s not treated quickly, your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles can all be damaged, and you could even die. In this article, we’ll go over tips for heatstroke prevention, the signs of a heatstroke, and what to do if a heatstroke happens.  

Signs of a Heatstroke 

  • Body temperature of 104 F or higher  
  • Altered mental state or behavior, like confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures, and comas 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin  
  • Rapid breathing  
  • Racing heart rate  
  • Headache  

Treating a Heatstroke 

If someone is experiencing a heatstroke, they need medical help as soon as possible. The first thing you should do is call 911. While you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive, you can get the person indoors, remove any excess clothing, and cool the person off. You can cool them off with water, ice packs, or cold, wet towels.  

Heatstroke Prevention

While a heatstroke is very scary and considered a medical emergency, there are many steps you can take to prevent it. These include:  

  • Wearing loose fitting, lightweight clothing that allows your body to cool properly.  
  • Using sunscreen generously and wearing a hat and sunglasses.  
  • Staying hydrated with water, not sugary drinks.  
  • Knowing if your medications affect your ability to stay hydrated or stay cool.  
  • Never leave anyone alone in a parked car, even with the windows down or in the shade. 
  • Avoid being outside in the hottest parts of the day.  
  • Don’t work or exercise outside unless you’re used to it.  
  • Be cautious if you or a loved one is at an increased risk of heatstroke, either due to medication, age, and/or another condition.  

You can find even more info on beating the heat of summer here.