The heat of summer can be a blessing and a curse. With fluctuating temperatures, it is easy to forge the precautions one should take when the air feels like it is trying to boil us out of the atmosphere.
According to the Mayo clinic, heatstroke is ‘“condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.”
The boiling point for humans is 104 F (40 C) or higher.
When a person’s body temperature is 104 degrees, you know he or she is suffering from heatstroke, but there are consequences on the body when one’s temperature is elevated, and those are the signs that are more likely going to alert someone to the danger present.
One is that the mind does not focus sharply in the heated state. A headache may ensue and a person may appear confused, agitated or even delirious, drop into a seizure and even a coma.
Another sign of heatstroke is the feel of one’s skin. If the condition is caused by hot weather, then the skin will feel hot and dry. If the condition is brought on by strenuous exercise, then the skin may feel dry or slightly moist.
The change in body temperature will likely cause the skin to flush, and could lead to nausea and vomiting.
When these symptoms are present, call 911 and then move the person in danger to a shaded, cool area immediately and remove constricting clothing.
Cool the body down with what is available such as a hose, a shower, ice packs or wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.
Heatstroke is not a minor issue, and can cause considerable damage to the body and even death.
“Without a quick response to lower body temperature, heatstroke can cause your brain or other vital organs to swell, possibly resulting in permanent damage,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
To prevent heatstroke, people should make sure they wear appropriate, loose-fitting clothes, drink plenty of water to remain hydrated, wear sunblock, be wary of medications and beverages (such as alcohol) that can cause dehydration, never leave anyone in a parked vehicle, avoid activity in the hottest part of the day, and limit strenuous activity in the heat until your body has had a chance to acclimate to the change in temperature (which can take several weeks).