Avoiding Heat Stroke and Dehydration This Summer
As the summer months begin to warm up, there is an increased risk of becoming dehydrated, especially for people who have prolonged exposure to sunlight and people who exercise outdoors. Severe dehydration can be a life-threatening condition for people of any age, but it is especially dangerous for children under 4 years old and adults over age 50.
This summer, we urge you to take preventative steps against heat-related illnesses and watch for signs of dehydration and heat stroke in loved ones.
If you or a family member spends significant amounts of time outside in the summer, either working or playing sports, we suggest taking the following preventative measures against dehydration.
How to Prevent Dehydration:
- Drink water
- Dress appropriately in light clothing
- Wear sunscreen and cover your head and neck with a hat
- Monitor your urine output for color – if your urine is dark, it is likely that you’re becoming dehydrated
- Avoid foods and drinks (especially alcohol) that increase dehydration
Dehydration and high temperatures outside can lead to a serious heat injury called heat stroke. Heat stroke can lead to disability or death and is considered a medical emergency. Use the following symptoms to see if someone may be suffering from a heat stroke after exposure to extreme heat or prolonged exposure to the sun.
Symptoms of a Heat Stroke:
- Body temperature higher than 104ºF
- Hot, red and dry skin
- Throbbing headache
- Loss of consciousness
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from a heat stroke, do not delay in seeking medical attention.