April 9, 2013

Avoid Heat Stroke this Summer!

Summer time is here in the Philippines! But I don't think it's so welcome here because the heat is just so intolerable at times! Imagine, a few days ago, the heat reached 38 degrees celcius in Tugegarao! That's like a person having fever. Health officials have issued a warning about heat stroke after a man died from it. With the heat level we're experiencing, heat stroke is really likely.

But what is heat stroke actually? it's a heat-related problem caused by prolonged exposure to high temperature or  doing physical activity in hot weather. You're having a heat stroke when the body temperature reaches 40 degrees celcius or higher.

Some symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature
  • lack of sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Flushed skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
How can it be prevented? Here's how according to Mayo Clinic: 
  • Wear loosefitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won't allow your body to cool properly.
  • Wear light-colored clothing if you're in the sun. Dark clothing absorbs heat. Light-colored clothing can help keep you cool by reflecting the sun's rays.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
  • Never leave children or anyone else in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in just 10 minutes. It's not safe to leave a person inside a parked car in hot weather for any period of time, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in the shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
  • Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can't avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during that time will help your body regulate your temperature.
  • Get acclimatized. Limit the amount you spend working or exercising in the heat until you're conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, including heatstroke. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
  • Be cautious if you're at increased risk. If you take medications or have a physical condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services at the event in case a heat emergency arises.
Hope this helps to keep you all in good health this very hot summer!
Source: Mayo Clinic

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