Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when your body can't cool itself down. This can happen when you're exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time, or when you're exercising strenuously in hot weather.
The symptoms of heat stroke can include:
- High body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Dizziness and confusion
- Rapid breathing and pulse
- Hot, dry skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Moving them to a cool place
- Applying cool water to their skin
- Fanning them
- Giving them fluids
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding strenuous activity in hot weather
- Wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
- Taking breaks in a cool place
- Scheduling outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day
- Acclimating to hot weather gradually
- Being aware of risk factors for heat stroke, such as age, obesity, and chronic illness
Anyone can get heat stroke, but some people are more at risk than others. These include:
- Children and older adults
- People with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who are taking certain medications, such as diuretics
- People who work or exercise in hot weather
Here are some tips to help you stay safe in hot weather:
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you're not thirsty.
- Avoid strenuous activity in hot weather. If you must exercise in hot weather, do so in the morning or evening when it's cooler.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. This will help your body stay cool.
- Take breaks in a cool place. If you start to feel hot, dizzy, or confused, take a break in a cool place.
- Schedule outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day. If you must be outside during the hottest part of the day, try to find shade or a cool place to rest.
- Acclimatize to hot weather gradually. If you're not used to hot weather, start by spending short periods of time in the heat and gradually increase the amount of time you spend outside.
If you think someone is having a heat stroke, call 911 immediately. While you wait for help, cool the person down by moving them to a cool place, applying cool water to their skin, fanning them, and giving them fluids.
Heat stroke is a serious condition, but it can be prevented. By following these tips, you can stay safe in hot weather and reduce your risk of heat stroke.