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How spot sunstroke & reduce the risk of overheating

This is an especially hot summer season here in CNY, which is why FCMG is sharing this information about ways to recognize sunstroke (also called heatstroke) -- and ways to avoid overheating in the first place. Got questions? Talk to your FCMG provider today! More informationc can also be found at:

How to spot sunstroke.

Sunstroke, also known as heatstroke, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's core temperature rises to dangerous levels due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in hot weather. It's crucial to recognize the signs of sunstroke and take immediate action if someone is experiencing these symptoms -- as untreated heatstroke can lead to serious complications and even death. Here are the signs and symptoms of sunstroke:

  1. Extremely high body temperature: The body temperature can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) or higher.

  2. Hot, dry skin: The skin becomes hot to the touch and is usually dry, with little or no sweating. This is because the body's ability to regulate temperature through sweating is impaired.

  3. Rapid and strong pulse: The heart rate increases significantly as the body tries to cool down.

  4. Throbbing headache: Individuals with sunstroke often experience intense and persistent headaches.

  5. Dizziness and confusion: Heatstroke can cause a feeling of lightheadedness and confusion, leading to disorientation.

  6. Nausea and vomiting: The person may feel nauseous or vomit due to the heat stress on the body.

  7. Muscle cramps and weakness: Heat exhaustion can lead to muscle cramps and weakness, making it difficult to move.

  8. Seizures: In severe cases, heatstroke can cause seizures or convulsions.

  9. Unconsciousness or coma: If not treated promptly, sunstroke can progress to unconsciousness or even a coma.

If you suspect someone has sunstroke, immediately call for emergency medical help and take steps to cool them down by moving them to a shaded or air-conditioned area, removing excess clothing, and applying cool water to their skin while fanning them. Also avoid giving them fluids to drink, as they may be unconscious or at risk of choking. Professional medical attention is essential for proper treatment and recovery.

How to mitigate the risk of overheating or reducing its impact, if you do.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate heat-related issues.

  2. Use fans and air conditioning: Ensure that fans and air conditioning systems are working efficiently to circulate air and cool down indoor spaces.

  3. Avoid outdoor activities during peak heat: If possible, schedule outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.

  4. Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to allow your body to breathe and reflect sunlight.

  5. Seek shade: When outdoors, take breaks in shaded areas to reduce direct exposure to the sun.

  6. Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and potential sunburn.

  7. Limit physical activity: Reduce strenuous activities during extremely hot days, as they can lead to increased body heat and exertion.

  8. Avoid hot or heavy meals: Opt for lighter, cooler meals that won't add to your body's heat production.

  9. Stay informed: Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat advisories to be aware of high-temperature days and plan accordingly.

  10. Create a cool environment: Use shades or blinds to block out direct sunlight and keep indoor temperatures down.

  11. Take cool showers or baths: Refresh yourself with cool water to lower your body temperature.

  12. Use cooling products: Apply cold packs, cooling towels, or use cooling gel products to cool down when necessary.

  13. Never leave anyone in a parked vehicle: Temperatures inside a car can rise dangerously high within minutes, even with windows cracked open.

  14. Keep an eye on vulnerable individuals: Check on elderly people, children, and those with chronic health conditions as they are more susceptible to heat-related issues.

  15. Learn the signs of heat-related illnesses: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and know how to respond if someone shows signs of distress.

By following these precautions and procative, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with overheating during the summer months. Prioritizing safety and taking proactive measures will help ensure a more comfortable and healthy season.