These Heat Stroke Prevention And Treatment Tips Could Save Lives

The Department of Health (DOH) is warning Filipinos to take care to prevent heat stroke during the hot summer months.

Guide To Preventing Heat Stroke During The Summer

According to an advisory on the DOH website, heat stroke is a medical conditionwhere your body temperature reaches high levels (40 degrees Celsius and up) due to heat exposure. This is considered a medical emergency that, if untreated, can damage the heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles.

Who can get heat stroke?

Heat stroke can affect people of all ages, though special precautions should be made for infants and children up to the age of four and adults who are over the age of 65.

Of course, people engaging in intense physical activity are also at risk, including athletes, laborers, and others who are outdoors for prolonged periods.

How can we prevent heat stroke?

In an interview with News To Go on Tuesday (March 12), DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III explained the dangers of heat stroke and provided some easy prevention tips.

According to Duque, one of the easiest ways to prevent heat stroke is to avoid long exposure to the sun. Filipinos should especially avoid staying out in the sun during the hottest period of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you have to be outdoors during this period, Duque recommended applying sunblock, which not only prevents you from getting sunburned but also helps keep down body temperature.

Duque also advised that people drink eight to 12 glasses of water a day. You should also avoid drinking fluids that are diuretics, which induce the production of urine. Excessive urination during hot days can contribute to dehydration, which leaves you more vulnerable to heat stroke.

(Read: Manila Water Service Interruption: 5 Ways To Reduce Water Use (And Lower Your Bill)

How do you know if you are suffering from heat stroke?

You may be suffering from heat stroke if you feel one or more of the following signs: • Dizziness • Headache • High fever • Increased heart rate

Another sign, according to the Mayo Clinic, is if you’ve stopped sweating. If it’s heat stroke due to the hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry if you touch it. If it’s heatstroke due to strenuous activity, your skin is dry or slightly moist.

As mentioned, the young and the elderly are especially prone to heat stroke. There are also certain medical conditions that put people at risk.

You are at higher risk of severe heat illness if you are suffering from hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, or if you have a fever.

Certain medications can also put you at risk, so be careful if you’re taking, hypertensive medication, methamphetamines, diet pills, and anti-depressants.

(Read: The Most Essential Summer Car Care Tips You’ll Ever Need)

What to do if you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke

If you suspect that someone is suffering from sun stroke, you need to take steps to lower their temperature immediately.

Take the following five steps to bring down one’s temperature: • Move them to a cool place that is out of the sun. • Make sure they have plenty of ventilation. Loosen their clothing and fan them. • Raise their legs. • Try and cool them down by applying water to their skin. You can try pouring water on their limbs and head, wiping them down with wet cloths, and applying ice packs. If they can try giving them a shower or placing them in a tub of cool water, just make sure they don’t lose consciousness. • Make them drink non-alcoholic, nondeuretic fluids.

It is highly recommended that you seek professional help. Call a doctor or take the victim to the emergency room after you’ve cooled them off a bit.

Failure to bring the body’s temperature down can cause complications. Heat stroke can cause your vital organs to swell, damaging them permanently or even resulting in death.