Heatstroke, or heat exhaustion, happens when someone is exposed to high temperatures for too long. When the body’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit, they may begin to experience symptoms. Heatstroke is a severe illness and requires medical attention when it happens. Thankfully, it can be easily prevented and predicted. AFC Urgent Care Malden wants you to be safe this summer. Learn more about heatstroke and visit us for any urgent needs that are not life-threatening.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke, while used interchangeably, are technically not the same. Heat exhaustion symptoms are normally less severe than heatstroke. Heatstroke requires immediate medical attention, and you should call 911 right away if someone is exhibiting the symptoms. Heatstroke symptoms include:
- A fast, strong pulse
- Loss of consciousness
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Cold and clammy skin
- A fast, weak pulse
- Tiredness or weakness
When to Seek Medical Attention
Rapid breathing, flushed skin that is hot and dry to touch, and an altered mental state are all warning signs of heatstroke. If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to receive medical attention immediately. If left untreated, heatstroke can impact your kidneys, brain, heart, and muscles.
In order to prevent both heatstroke and heat exhaustion, certain measures should be taken. Both conditions are extremely preventable. These steps include:
- Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather. This includes loose-fitting and lightweight clothing. Don’t wear anything too heavy that doesn’t allow your skin to receive air.
- Protect yourself against the sun’s UV rays and sunburn. Use an SPF of at least 15 throughout the day and 30 on your face. Reapply often, especially if you are swimming. Also, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can help protect your skin and keep you cool.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help regulate your body temperature.
- Be careful when taking medications. Some may have certain side effects in the heat, so it’s important to be conscious of those.
- Never leave any person or pet in a parked car. The temperature in cars can rise 20 degrees in ten minutes, and it can lead to death.
- Try and avoid strenuous activity during the peak times of the day. If that isn’t possible, then be sure to drink plenty of fluids and rest in cool areas. Try to schedule activities in the mornings or evenings.
- Lastly, take your time getting acclimated to the weather. If you are used to colder climates, you are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.