Tips to prevent heat stroke

How to prevent the risk of heat stroke

Due to the high temperatures and heat waves that are taking place, the risk of heat stroke has increased in recent years.

Heat stroke is a disorder characterized by failure of the functions of various internal organs due to an excessive increase in body temperature. Normally this should be around 37 degrees Celsius, but if it increases and exceeds 40 degrees without our body can eliminate excess heat, our nervous system begins to alter. When we become dehydrated, our body can not sweat enough to cool down and reduce its temperature, so it can increase and produce a heat stroke.

Heat stroke more easily affects the elderly, who often suffer from some previous pathology that is aggravated by the increase in their body temperature, at the same time that these pathologies in many cases prevent them from drinking enough water to rehydrate, or they simply forget to drink, suffer from inappetence, or do not give enough importance to this fact.

Children are also especially vulnerable to heat stroke, so we should try not to expose them and make sure they drink plenty of water frequently.

However, heat stroke can affect anyone if they do not have the necessary care. Here are some tips that can help us avoid suffering a heat stroke:

  • Avoid exposure to the sun during central hours of the day (12 to 17 hours), and in any case avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. If we are going to do outdoor activities or sports, it is best to do it in the first or last hours of the day.
  • Avoid falling asleep exposed to the sun.
  • In case of feeling dizzy or tired, retire to a cool and/or ventilated place. Loosen clothing if possible, cool off and hydrate.
  • Hydrate frequently, drinking plenty of water, liquids and isotonic drinks. Do not wait to be thirsty to drink. Avoid drinks with caffeine, sweetened or alcoholic, since these favor dehydration.
  • Avoid heavy meals, as difficult digestions increase the internal temperature of the body. Better to eat light, fresh and water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, salads…
  • Spend time at places that have air conditioning. At home remember to lower the power of the air conditioning at night (not to lower the temperature as much as during the day), as the body cools while we sleep.
  • Properly protect the skin, head and eyes with clothing, hats, sunglasses. This helps protect us from both heat stroke and sunburn.
  • Wear light clothing that allows perspiration, thus allowing a better cooling of our body.
  • Special care with the elderly and children. Do not expose children under 3 years of age to the sun.
  • Never stay in a parked or closed vehicle, as the heat accumulated inside it is very dangerous.


What to do in case of heat stroke?

If someone suffers a heat stroke, the first thing to do is take him to a place in the shade, place him lying down, with his back straight and legs raised, to favor the circulation of blood.

Then, moisten his face with a sponge or damp cloth, but in case he is unconscious never give him to drink, as he could drown.

If his temperature does not fall, has a weak pulse and paleness, or we know that the person suffers from a heart disease, immediately notify the emergency services or if possible, go immediately to the nearest doctor, hospital or health center.

In necessary case, at Vithas Xanit International Hospital located in Benalmadena we have an emergency service available 24 hours a day.