So you’ve been outside for awhile and you have a throbbing headache and some dizziness. Maybe one drink too many, enjoying activities that your body is not used to or just feeling affected by the hot humid air. Or maybe it’s more serious – heat stroke aka sun stroke!
Don’t take heat stroke too lightly – it is a serious form of injury that can cause serious damage if not treated.
Heat stroke generally occurs from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It is usually combined with dehydration. When outdoors having fun, kids running and playing, perhaps not eating and drinking as healthy as one should, we are at risk of heat stroke.
The first symptom is often fainting. Yet other symptoms can be signs of heat stroke:
- Dizzy and light-headed
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lack of sweating
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat – strong or weak
- Rapid breathing
- Confusion, staggering, disorientation
- And even more serious, seizures and unconsciousness
If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Do not delay!
You can initiate some immediate first aid:
- Move the person to a cool, shady area or air-conditioned environment
- Remove any unnecessary clothing
- Try to cool down the body temperature:
- Fan air over the person
- Wet their skin with cool water especially armpits, groin, neck, and back
When enjoying the outdoors, be aware of the heat especially if you are on medications such as antihistamines, diuretics, anticonvulsants, heart and blood pressure and antidepressants. These are some of the medications that are associated with increased risk of heat stroke.
Make it a fun summer! Play safe.