May 11, 2023

Sun Safety (Heat Stroke)

As the weather gets warmer, and we spend more of our free time outside, we should remain mindful of proper summer safety, whether going for a walk, enjoying a barbeque, or spending time in the garden. Heat stroke can occur suddenly and unexpectedly.

Heatstroke can manifest as one or more of the following symptoms:

  • High body temperature, (over 40 degrees Celsius)
  • Red, dry skin
  • Rapid, Shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Altered mental state
  • Nausea

If you see someone who you suspect is suffering from heat stroke:

  • Check their airways, breathing, and circulation to ensure they are breathing,
  • Call 911,
  • Move them to a cool or shaded area,
  • Cool down the body with a fan, ice packs, or cool water,
  • Give them small sips of cool water, and
  • Stay with them until an ambulance arrives.

But there are some ways you can prevent heatstroke before it ever becomes a problem:

  • Stay properly hydrated
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Wear a hat and light-coloured clothing
  • Avoid peak hours of heat and sunshine, typically 11 am-3 pm
  • Take breaks in the shade
  • Avoid excessive exercise

Remember these simple habits when you go outside, and you can enjoy the warm summer weather safely and comfortably.