In Part 1 I wrote about Heat Exhaustion. This post is about Heat Stroke, the more serious and potentially life threatening heat emergency.
Heat Stroke occurs when the body becomes so overheated that it begins to shut down. Your skin becomes hot, red and you lose the ability to sweat. As your body temperature rises you become confused, disorientated and can have a seizure. Eventually you will become unresponsive and permanent brain and tissue damage can result.
Heat Stroke can be fatal. This is a life threatening situation. If you suspect someone is suffering from Heat Stroke call 911. Begin cooling the person with cool water and move them to a cool environment or shade.
The best way to treat Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion is to prevent it. When we're outside in warm weather it is easy to get preoccupied with what we are doing and forget to take breaks or drink water. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. When the forecast is for hot weather or if the heat stress index is very high plan for frequent breaks in the shade or in air conditioning. Drink plenty of water and try to break large outdoor projects into smaller ones or see what can be rescheduled for a cooler day.
We've all heard the expression that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. This is very true in hot weather. Keeping an eye on yourself, your family and your co-workers and watching for the warning signs of overheating during the hot weather is one of the best ways to prevent a heat emergency.