Preventing heat stroke

Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

Heat stroke is most likely to affect older people who live in apartments or homes lacking air conditioning or good airflow. Other high-risk groups include people of any age who don’t drink enough water, have chronic diseases, or who drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat; strong or weak
  • Confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect that someone has a heat stroke, call 911 immediately, and initiate first aid to the patient.

  • Fan air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or cloth
  • Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck and back. These are areas with a large amount of blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them can reduce body temperature.
  • Give patient a cold shower or place the patient in a cool tub of water.

To lower the risk of heat strokes during the warm months, stay in an air-conditioned environment.  If you must go outdoors, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat.  Use sunscreen, and drink plenty of extra fluids.