During the hit summertime, everyone knows that if you need to work or exercise outdoors for extended periods of time, you must be weary of a heatstroke. So, how much do you know about heatstroke and what are the signs for one? The following will give you some information about heatstroke.
When a person's body temperature rises, your body will try to cool it back down, such as sweating (perspiration) and increased breathing (respiration). However, when the temperature in the environment is too high and your body cannot regulate its own temperature, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke can occur.
In fact, a heat stroke is a kind of heat injury. Now, we learn to distinguish what this injury is.
Types of heat injuries
Prolonged or strenuous activity in high temperatures can easily cause the body to lose lots of water. If enough sweat, sodium and potassium ion levels in the blood can decrease to an amount that would trigger involuntary muscle twitching or cramps. Usually, the muscle groups that are exercised the most experience these cramps e.g., the calves. If such symptoms occur, you should rest immediately.
This is a more serious type of heat injury, mainly caused by sultry environments, leading to an excessive loss of water and salt, resulting in dehydration. Common symptoms include paleness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, and a body temperature of about 37°C to 40°C. Immediately move the patient to a cool place, remove any outer garments and splash or wipe their face, neck and body with cold water. The main objective is to cool them down and when they are conscious, give them lots of water or electrolyte drinks, and visit the doctor immediately.
This is the most serious type of heat injury. At this point, the body is unable to regulate its own temperature and has accumulated too much heat. The main symptoms of a heat stroke are high body temperature (often over 40°C), dry and hot skin, no sweat (due to excessive loss of water and an inability to perspire), dizziness, fast heartbeat, convulsions, shock and other symptoms. Again, the goal is to cool the body down and rehydrate. Do not hesitate to call the doctor!
Who is more prone to heat strokes?
Children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases such as heart disease or high blood pressure, and people who are overweight are more prone to heat stroke.
Things to note
1. Dry heat – feeling hot, but not sweating, dry skin
2. Rapid breathing
3. Other symptoms (headache, dizziness, vomiting)
If you feel any of the above symptoms during outdoor activities, you should sit down quickly, rest in the shade, drink water, and if it does not improve after 30 minutes, seek help immediately!
Always pay attention to weather warnings issued by the Observatory and take the following measures:
Wear light-coloured, ventilated clothing to reduce body heat absorption, and facilitate perspiration and heat dissipation.
Bring enough water to prevent dehydration.
Avoid caffeinated (e.g., tea or coffee) or alcoholic beverages, as these beverages can accelerate the loss of body water by making you go to the toilet more often!
Avoid strenuous exercise or long-distance mountaineering or hiking, as coupled with high temperatures, sweating and fatigue will consume excessive amounts of energy.
It is best to schedule outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are lower.
When doing indoor activities, keep the room cool by opening windows or with fans or air conditioning systems. Be sure to avoid strenuous exercise in a humid and hot environment.
Adjust your work schedule to work in cooler times. If it is necessary to work in a hot environment, give yourself enough shade at the workplace, work at a gradual pace, and rest in a cool place at regular intervals to restore strength.
Do not stay inside a parked vehicle for long.
If you feel unwell during any activity, you should stop immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.