Jennifer Amba is a single mom from Canada, and her story raises the general awareness of heatstroke. Her three-year-old toddler suffered a heatstroke in the bedroom while taking a nap.
The mom called an ambulance, and had to wait 20 minutes. Jennifer wasn’t even aware of the problem her daughter had. She didn’t notice that the bedroom is too hot. When she reached for the toddler, the girl was soaked in sweat, unresponsive and her face was red.
There was no air conditioning and the fan wasn’t on. The window was open, and the blinds were closed.
Do you know that over 650 Americans die from heat-related disease? Each of these cases can be prevented. You can suffer a heat-stroke everywhere – even when you spend the day in shadows.
What is a heatstroke?
It’s a condition in which body temperature goes as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and the body is unable to bring it down.
The body has a natural cooling system and regulates its temperature on its own. But, if you spend your day exposed to constant heat and ignore your body’s need of water, you will be dehydrated, and the body won’t be able to cool itself.
Heat exhaustion coms first, and it’s followed by headache, fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps. If your temperature doesn’t go down, you are likely to suffer a heatstroke.
When does this happen?
A heatstroke happens when you are exposed to heat, usually after intense physical workout or outdoor activity.
It may also happen if you don’t wear proper clothes that allows your body to sweat. Alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to balance its temperature which may cause additional problem.
Children and babies have a higher risk of suffering a heatstroke as their body is unable to regulate their temperature. It’s also common in people with existing medical problem.
Look for early symptoms like goose bumps or tingling skin, a dull headache, and vomiting.
Sufferers are confused and lethargic. Your heart is strained, and you may sweat a lot. Yes, your body is dehydrated, but you may still sweat as confirmed by research.
Heatstroke causes difficulty breathing, a rapid pulse, disorientation, and flushed skin. It may cause organ damage and even death. Heatstroke may cause serious damage to your brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.
Heatstroke shouldn’t be taken lightly as it’s an emergency. Call an ambulance and go to the hospital as soon as possible.
Watch for any of the symptoms we have listed above, and don’t focus on sweating only.
Here are some extra tips:
- Take the person to a cool area
- Remove any unnecessary layers of clothes
- Turn fans on or wet the person’s skin with water
- Use icepacks if the sufferer is an elderly, child, chronically ill or someone who had done strenuous workout. Place the icepacks on the armpits, neck, back and groin (blood vessels are mostly concentrated here)
- Immerse the person in cool water
Don’t forget the pets!
Heat may hurt animals, too. Most animals have furry coat, and may overheat easily. They usually deal with difficulty breathing, droll, and collapse. If you notice these symptoms, turn the fan on and wrap the pet with wet towel. Be careful, you shouldn’t use cold water, because animals cool down fast.
Keep your pets in shade and avoid direct sunlight. Give them a lot of fresh water. If your pet has a heatstroke, call a veterinarian!
It’s an emergency! Here’s how to prevent it:
- Drink a lot of water
- Don’t wear too much clothes and opt for light and loose clothing
- Avoid alcohol
- Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
- Don’t leave anyone in your parked car because a heatstroke may happen even when temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit
If you don’t know how to keep your water intake in normal levels, add some lemon juice to your water bottle and enjoy the citrusy hint. Lemon water is incredibly healthy and refreshing. If you have a sweet tooth, add some honey to it. Enjoy your favorite drink!