Heat Stroke: What To Know

If you follow our socialmedia pages, you might have noticed that we've talked a lot about how hot the weather's been lately.  With average temperatures in Dallas/Fort Worth hovering around 100 degrees for the past few weeks, the lovely temperatures of May and early June seem like a distant memory.  This hot weather isn't just uncomfortable; it can be downright dangerous.  Do you know what to look out for when confronting the heat?

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat related illness you can experience.  You can suffer serious brain damage, damage to vital internal organs such as kidneys, and even death from heat stroke.  As the link suggests, if you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, you should call 911 immediately.  Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit and is unable to cool itself.  Common symptoms include nausea, confusion, hot but dry skin, headache, racing heartbeat, and even possibly seizures.

What Causes Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is caused by a combination of elevated body temperature and dehydration.  Your body regulates its temperature through a variety of mechanisms, the most commonly known (and most relevant to this post) being sweating.  When your body cannot sweat, your temperature continues to rise without any way to cool it back down.  Factors that can stifle your body's ability to sweat include certain medications and medical conditions, particularly related to the heart, and one big factor that affects us all down here in the souther United States, humidity.  High humidity stifles the body's ability to sweat, thanks to all the extra moisture in the air, and anyone who's been outside on a muggy August day in Texas knows that it can feel dang near impossible to cool off.

What To Do

If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from a heat stroke, as we said before, immediately call 911.  While waiting for help to arrive, move to a shaded or preferably air conditioned area and if possible use a wet towel or wash cloth and a fan to cool the skin down.  As dehydration plays a key role in heat stroke, remember to drink lots of water to attempt to rehydrate the body.  DO NOT drink alcohol, as this will only continue to dehydrate you.

Prevention: Best Way to Deal With Heat Stroke

Just like with any illness, the best medicine for heat stroke is prevention.  Check the weather before you go outside.  If the humidity is 60% and above, know that you're going to have a tough time sweating, so dress for the weather- breathable fabrics, lighter colors, shorts if you can get away with it.   Try to avoid any strenuous activities outdoors while the sun is at it's brightest, usually between noon and 6:00 p.m.; if you have outside chores to do, save those for after sundown.  If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in the shade, or in a/c if possible, and drink lots of water.  Make sure you wear protective items like hats and sunscreen.  If you're spending Sunday Funday by the pool drinking beer, keep in mind that alcohol will dehydrate you, and make sure you alternate those brews with some ice-cold water.

No Pool?  No Problem

Speaking of Sunday Funday by the pool, hanging out in your pool is a great way to enjoy the warmer temperatures without burning up yourself.  Aerating your pool at night will help keep the water cool, so that when it's scorching during the day, your pool is a refreshing oasis for you to enjoy!  What if you don't have a pool?  I mean, do I really have to say it?  CALL US!  We service the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, including but not limited to Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Prosper, Allen, Lucas, Fairview, Princeton, Richardson, North Dallas, and Dallas proper.