Heat stroke can be a risk, especially in the summer months. If you want to enjoy the outdoors in hot weather, you should keep hydrated and avoid overly exerting yourself in heat and humidity. If you have to be outside, drink plenty of fluids and take breaks in a cool place. You should avoid liquids that dehydrate you, such as caffeine drinks and alcoholic beverages. Instructions 1. Prevent Heat Stroke o1 Limit the time you spend outdoors to the early morning and evening hours. The temperature is cooler and this is a good time to exercise or accomplish other outdoor tasks such as gardening. o2 Bump up your fluid intake.
Prevent heat stroke by drinking even when you are not thirsty. You want to prepare your body for the heat, not wait until it gets the best of you. If exercising drink two to four glasses of cool water an hour. Replenish your body of the salt and minerals you lose while perspiring by drinking a sports beverage. o3 Steer clear from overly sugary drinks. These beverages can cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, pay attention to the temperature of drinks since very cool drinks can cause heat cramps in your stomach. o4 Stay inside as much as possible on hot days. Make use of the air conditioner.
If you do not have an air-conditioned home, visit the mall or another public place for a few hours. This can help your body stay cool even when you go back to the warmer environment. o5 Dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, well-ventilated, thin clothing in light colors. A black shirt, or other dark color, can absorb the sun and raise your body temperature. o6 Utilize the American Heart Association website for recommendations to prevent heat stroke and live healthier during the summer (see Resources below). Read more:
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What is, and who is at risk for heat stroke?
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia or heat-related illness, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated. Heat stroke is also sometimes referred to as heatstroke or sun stroke. Severe hyperthermia is defined as a body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher.
The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous physical exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to sufficiently dissipate the heat and the body temperature rises, sometimes up to 106 F (41.1 C) or higher. Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.
Heat stroke is not the same as a stroke. "Stroke" is the general term used to describe decreased oxygen flow to an area of the brain.
Those most susceptible (at risk) individuals to heat stroke include:
- The elderly (often with associated heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to dehydration and heat strokes)
- Individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun
- Infants, children, or pets left in cars.
Heat stroke is sometimes classified as exertional heat stroke (EHS, which is due to overexertion in hot weather) or non-exertional heat stroke (NEHS, which occurs in climactic extremes and affects the elderly, infants, and chronically ill.