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How to Prevent, Recognize, & Recover from a Heat Stroke

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It’s gettin’ hot outside, so what can you do to prevent, recognize, and recover from Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is something that can easily be prevented, yet it is something that can just as easily sneak up on someone before they realize what has happened to them. Heat stroke is considered the most serious of all heat related conditions and should be treated as a medical emergency.

It’s so sad to hear about so many heat related deaths this year, so I just had to help educate the Skinny Twinkie community with this life saving information. Find out how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat stroke.

Ways to Prevent Heat Stroke

• Drink lots of water! You should also avoid drinking liquids that will dehydrate you such, such as drinks containing a lot of sugar, caffeine, or any alcohol.

• Unaccustomed to the heat? Don’t overdo yourself, and allow your body time to adjust to the warmer weather. I grew up in Las Vegas where it was common to get well above 100° Fahrenheit. I was completely happy with this very hot temperature. Now that I have moved away, I have noticed that I just don’t handle the heat as well as I used to.

• Stay indoors during the late morning and early afternoon, since this is when the sun’s rays are their strongest. If you want to do anything outdoors, go outside in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside.

• Wear loose-fitting clothing that won’t add heat to your body temperature.

• Don’t overly exert yourself (exercise, sports, etc) outside on a hot Summer day. Heat stroke can kill young athletes who are very healthy, since they usually ignore the beginning signs of heat stroke and feel that they are too healthy to really be effected by the heat.

• Never leave anyone – child or pet! – in a vehicle. Not for a minute, and not even with the windows rolled down. The vehicle can get very hot inside, much warmer than the outdoors temperature. It’s sad to know that there are still many children who die every Summer because a parent leaves their kid in the car. It’s unacceptable, and not worth the risk.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

• If the body temperature increases too much, it can cause headache, nausea, muscle cramps, and fatigue. At this point, this is considered “heat exhaustion”, but if not taken care of, it can turn into “heat stroke”.

• When the body temperature increases to 105° Fahrenheit (or higher), this is considered “heat stroke”, which potentially life-threatening.

• Develop mental confusion or unconsciousness, due to the cells in the brain getting destroyed by the high temperatures in the body.

How to Treat Heat Stroke

• Reduce body temperature immediately by cooling the body from the outside. You can do this by placing ice packs under the armpits, groin or neck, allow a fan to blow cool air on  the person, or removing any tight or unnecessary clothing.

• Seek emergency help if someone that has been in the heat experiences faintness, hallucinations, confusion, staggering, or goes into a coma. Begin reducing the person’s  body temperature immediately until they can be helped by the emergency personnel.

• It’s important to receive treatment for heat stroke immediately. Procrastinating treatment can lead to liver or kidney damage, coma, congestive heart failure or death.

It’s important that you take heat strokes seriously, and if at all possible…prevent one from happening! Those who have had heat stroke already are more likely to have another one in the future. It’s not because they didn’t learn from it the first time, it’s likely due because their body is more susceptible to it again.

Everyone, please be safe and enjoy the rest of your Summer!

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Image Credit: CBS

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