Tuesday, 08 August 2017

How to Deal With Heat Stroke

The school holidays are now well under way and many families will be jetting off to warmer climates. Warmer climates might actually be a bit of an understatement, as large areas of Europe are currently experiencing an extreme heatwave causing hellish temperatures so high it has been given the charming nickname Lucifer.

In the run up to summer you'll hear us preaching about the importance of SPF application to prevent sunburn, but with Lucifer causing droughts, wildfire and havoc at many popular holiday destinations, you need to take extra health precautions. I'm sure a hospitalisation due to heat stroke is not on your itinerary, so follow these steps for a happy and healthy holiday.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke: What's the difference?

Both are caused by too much time in the sun, meaning the body overheats and cannot cool itself.

If you have heat exhaustion you may have a headache and nausea, as well as feeling drowsy. Now is the time to get out of the heat and cool the body down, before it develops into the more serious condition of heat stroke.

Once the body's core temperature rises above 40C, you run the risk of heat stroke developing. If your skin is dry, you are hot but not sweating or are unable to cool down despite going to a cooler environment and drinking water, these are all signs of heat stroke.

What's the best treatment?

You need to get yourself to a cool location, lie down and raise your feet above heart level. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids, ideally water. If after half an hour you don't start to feel better or cool down, seek medical advice.

How can I avoid heat stroke?

It's the same old obvious advice, but try to avoid the sun during the peak hours of 11am and 3pm. Drink lots of water throughout the day, eat lots of fruit (it has a high water content) and avoid alcohol.

Don't forget, in these extreme temperatures, you need to be applying a broad spectrum sunscreen at least every 1-2 and immediately after swimming, towel drying or excessive perspiration. This is in spite of the product's SPF level and water resistance claims.

Written for you by: Ellie, Face the Future

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