Dangers of Heat Stroke

The dangers of heat stroke is important to know if you are planning on spending time outside working or playing in a very warm climate. Rising temperatures make heat strokes a possibility. Knowing how to prevent this dangerous possibility and how to treat it if it occurs is important. Heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly, so take a few minutes and familiarize yourself with the symptoms and treatment.

Over heating occurs when the body can not control or regulate its temperature. The body temperature rises to as much as 106 degrees, sweating stops and the body can no longer cool itself. If this condition is allowed to persist for more than 10-15 minutes if can result in permanent damage to the body and even death.

Dehydration is often another cause. Because the person has not had enough to drink, they can not produce enough sweat to cool the body. Sport drinks are a good option as they also replenish electrolytes lost through excessive sweating.

The signs and symptoms of heat stroke are:

• Hot dry skin – the natural body process of sweating shuts down
• Chills
• Headache – usually a throbbing headache
• Hallucinations
• Confusion
• Dizziness
• Slurred speech
• High body temperature – this results because the body is no longer cooling itself naturally

The first course of action to treat a person suffering from over heating is to call 911. Emergency personnel are trained in the treatment of heat stroke. While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive it is important to begin a few simple first aid measures.

While you are awaiting help, move the person to a shaded area out of the sun. Find the coolest area possible to begin the cool down process. Soaking the person's clothes with water helps the body cool itself since the heat stroke sufferer is no longer producing sweat. You can also put them under a shower or in a cool bath if available. If water is not available, fanning is a good option. This allows air to circulate around the victim and promotes cooling. The goal of first aid for the heat stroke victim is to bring their body temperature down as fast as possible.

The best treatment for heat stroke is really prevention. Try to avoid exercising or working outdoors during peak heat and humidity. If you must do outdoor activities, drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine. Too much caffeine can lead to dehydration. Taking the time to be prepared is the best way to be ready for the impending hot weather of summer.