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Updated February 29th, 2024 at 16:56 IST

What Is Heat Stroke? Prevention, Symptoms, Treatment

Heat strokes are common in summers, but they can be prevented with these simple methods. Know the symptoms and treatment as well.

How To Prevent Heat Strokes In Summer - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
How To Prevent Heat Strokes In Summer - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment | Image:Unsplash
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Heat strokes are very common in the summer season. The sun is shining bright and extra humidity keeps you dehydrated, which can cause extreme heat strokes. To prevent heat strokes, you need to understand the symptoms and then take preventive measures.

Symptoms of heat stroke

According to WebMD, these are the symptoms of heat stroke

Symptoms of heat stroke | Representative image: Unsplash
  • The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 104 F. But fainting may usually be the first sign.
  • Throbbing headache is also a common symptom.
  • Dizziness and light-headedness are other symptoms.
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat.
  • Red, hot, and dry skin.
  • Muscle weakness or cramps.
  • In some cases, nausea and vomiting accompany the heat stroke.
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioural changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures and unconsciousness also occur in extreme cases.

Treatment for heat stroke

  • If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, call emergency services immediately. Time is crucial in preventing complications.
  • Move the person to a shaded or air-conditioned area as quickly as possible. Remove excess clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or ice packs to their body to help lower their temperature.
  • Encourage the person to drink cool water or sports drinks to rehydrate their body. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can worsen dehydration.
  • Use a fan or create airflow with a piece of cardboard to help cool the person down. Be cautious not to over cool them, as this can lead to shivering, which generates heat.
  • Continuously monitor the person's temperature and vital signs until medical help arrives. If they become unconscious, check their breathing and perform CPR if necessary.

How to prevent heat strokes

Hydrate yourself | Representative image: Unsplash
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when engaging in physical activity or spending time outdoors in hot weather. Avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing in light colours to reflect sunlight and heat. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from the sun.
  • Use fans, air conditioning, or cool baths to lower your body temperature during hot weather. Take cool showers or baths, or use damp towels to help cool off if you start feeling overheated.
  • Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. If you or someone else exhibits signs of heat stroke, take immediate action to prevent further complications.
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Published February 29th, 2024 at 16:56 IST

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