What exactly is sunstroke and how can you prevent it? - Medshield Movement

What exactly is sunstroke and how can you prevent it?

We love a bit of vitamin D, but with summer temperatures soaring, it’s important to use preventative measures against sunstroke.

So, what exactly is sunstroke? Ever had that feeling like you’re burning up, exhausted, can’t take in any liquids or food.. Maybe even feeling nauseous? These can often be symptoms of sunstroke after spending too much time in the sum, typically after completing an exercise activity, such as running a marathon, where you spend many hours exercising in the sun and high temperature. 

Heat Exhaustion VS Sunstroke

Firstly, it’s important to know the difference between heat exhaustion and sun stroke. Heat exhaustion does not usually need emergency medical help if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency and you need to either call your doctor or head to the local hospital or emergency room. 

Heat Exhaustion symptoms can include: tiredness, dizziness, headache, nausea, excessive sweating, clammy skin, heat rash, cramps, elevated heart rate, fast breathing, high temperature, thirst and feeling weak. If you use the cool down methods below, someone struggling with hat exhaustion should cool down in about 30 minutes. 

If after 30 minutes, the person still feels unwell, has a very high temperature, is hot to the touch (and not sweating), has a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath or any kind of confusion, lack of coordination or may be passing out, it’s important to call medical support immediately. Someone suffering from sunstroke may also begin to have a fit or seizure.

How To Cool Someone Down

You can help someone cool down from heat exhaustion by trying the following methods. 

  1. Help move the person to a cool, shaded area. If there is a fan or air conditioner nearby, even better. 
  2. Remove all unnecessary layers of clothing, such as shoes and socks or layers. 
  3. Offer them cold water or water with electrolytes mixed in. 
  4. Try to cool their skin down by using damp, cool towels (place them around the head, neck and under the arms). 
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