Heat strokes are dangerous and should be treated immediately. Our body cannot handle a sudden rise in its temperature, and its regulation mechanism goes for a toss when this happens. People who are into outdoor activities such as sports or traveling, are more at risk to heat strokes, but that in no way means that the rest of us are totally safe. On really hot days, a normal person can suffer from a heat stroke even if he is sitting in his house.
When our body's natural mechanisms like sweating and regulation of heat, are not enough to counter the effect of heat, we become susceptible to heat strokes. The way it usually works is, when the body temperature rises, we sweat to release the heat and lower the temperature. But when this fails to happen, our body loses its path of releasing heat and its temperature starts building up. Heat strokes occur when the body temperature is around 104ºC. They can have serious consequences and the victims should be given first aid immediately.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Here is how to recognize when you are getting a heat stroke:
- If you seem to be confused or delirious after being out in the sun for a long time.
- If your body temperature seems to have increased considerably. More than 104ºC .
- If your skin feels cold and clammy and you have a headache.
- If you feel dizzy or nauseous.
- If your muscles are cramping and your heartbeat is rapid.
- First, get the person out of the heat and in a cool, shady area.
- Make them drink lots of water or fruit juices (no dehydrating drinks like tea, coffee etc).
- Fan the person continuously, or wipe his face, hands and other exposed body parts with a cold cloth, to help lower his body temperature.
- Call for an ambulance if he doesn't show signs of improving even after doing all the above things.
Tips to Avoid getting Heat Stroke
- Plan your day. Keep the outdoor activities reserved for the mornings or late afternoons, to avoid getting out in the afternoon heat.
- In case you cannot avoid getting out in the sun, make sure you cover your head with a hat/ cap/ scarf etc. Also, carry and use an umbrella for good measure. Doll yourself up with stylish, colorful scarves and hats. There is a variety of umbrellas in styles, shapes and colors which you can flaunt.
- Take care to keep yourself hydrated on a daily basis. Drink lots of natural, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, etc.
- Sweating helps to regulate body temperature, but it also makes you lose sodium. Hence, you have to replenish the supply of sodium by consuming electrolytes frequently.
- Another important thing to remember is to wear loose fitting, light colored clothes while going out in the sun. Dark colors absorb heat, thus increasing your body temperature and putting you more at risk.
- If you are going to be required to spend a lot of time in the sun, then do so gradually by increasing the time spent outside daily, to get your body accustomed to the change.
- Once out in the sun, keep sipping water continuously. Avoid drinks with high content of sugar since they dehydrate your body.
- Try to spend as much time as possible in air conditioned places, like malls, when you are outside. This helps keep the body cool even when you go to a warmer place.