While the summer season allows us to enjoy various outdoor activities, it is also the time of the year when we experience extreme heat—so much so that it puts us at risk of heat stroke. Its symptoms include a high body temperature (104 F), rapid breathing, flushed skin, vomiting, and altered mental state. Without prompt treatment, it can result in organ damage or death.
To avoid the complications, preventing heat stroke in the summer is vital. Here are some of the things that you can do to prevent it:
1. Drink plenty of water.
The body produces sweat to regulate its temperature. This is why you tend to perspire more during the summer than you typically would. Aside from the heat, your summer activities would make you perspire a lot. You need to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drinking enough water would also help in maintaining the ideal body temperature.
The amount of water intake you need would depend on various factors. Experts recommend observing the “8×8 rule”: eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. You can also calculate the amount of water your body needs by dividing your weight (measured in pounds) in half. The answer will give you the amount of water you should take in ounces. The goal is apparently to make sure you do not get dehydrated.
2. Choose suitable clothing.
Picking the right outfit during the summer is not only about taking great pictures for your social media feed. Your primary consideration in choosing your clothes during the summer should be your comfort. Choose baggy clothes because they would allow your body to cool properly. You should also make sure to pick those with breathable material. As much as possible, avoid wearing dark-colored shirts because they tend to absorb more heat.
The ideal summer outfit to prevent a heat stroke is light-colored, lightweight, and made of loose-woven material. Cotton is an ideal fabric for summer clothes because it is highly breathable.
3. Plan your activities well.
Your body will generate more heat as you do more activities. Therefore, during the summer, it is imperative that you plan your activities well. Avoid strenuous activities when the sun is at its peak. Aside from an increased risk of skin cancer, too much sun exposure while being very active and sweating a lot increases your risk of heat stroke. Your body will not be able to cool down as quickly as it would.
4. Find the right timing to go outdoors.
Exposure to sunlight is only beneficial during certain hours, especially during the summer season: avoid sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sun is at its peak during these hours. If you do not have anything important to do outside, stay indoors or find a shady place.
5. Take regular baths.
Heat stroke occurs because the body cannot effectively regulate its temperature. Taking regular baths can help your body manage the summer heat. As much as possible, do not use your water heater when taking a shower. You should also avoid going to sauna baths during the summer. Doing so may contribute to excessive sweating, and eventually, to dehydration.
6. Weigh the risks.
Heat stroke can affect anyone. Even young and healthy people can fall prey to it. Extreme heat can cause the blood pressure to crank up. Thus, it would be prudent to take extra precautions, especially if you know you’re at a higher risk.
There are certain medications that contribute to heat stroke. These include antihistamines, diuretics, laxatives, and channel blockers, to name a few. So make sure to avoid too much sun exposure when you’re in the course of medication as the ones just stated.
Illnesses such as heart or lung disease, and factors such as obesity and being sedentary also increase the risk of heat stroke.
7. Avoid being in extremely hot areas.
You should always ensure that your house or wherever you’re planning to stay is well-ventilated. A place with big windows where fresh air could easily pass through would prove beneficial. You can also choose to stay in an air-conditioned room. Avoid staying in a stalled car because the temperature inside the vehicle might spike, especially during a scorching day.
8. Refrain from drinking caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
Caffeinated drinks can contribute to dehydration. As much as you can, avoid drinking coffee, tea, alcohol, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also a diuretic, which causes an increased passing of urine. Water is always the best, safest option during a hot summer day.
Prevent Heat Stroke and Preparing for Summer
Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency that should not be taken lightly. To enjoy your summer and lower the risk of suffering from heat stroke, make sure to keep these tips in mind. It cannot be overstated how prevention is always better than cure.
Intercoastal Medical Group provides multi-disciplinary services to help keep you safe and in the best shape for summer. We have qualified doctors in our clinics who that are ready to give you quality and patient-centered healthcare service. Our clinics are located in Sarasota and Manatee County, Florida. For more information about our services, you may call a clinic near you. You may also request an appointment online.