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Caution: heatstroke

In summer, high air temperatures become a real problem, often causing heat stroke in adults and children. Many believe that in the heat will not be his victims. However, our body is not always ready for thermal overload. Observance of elementary rules will help to avoid the severe effects of heat and sunstroke.

How does heat or sunstroke come?

Heat stroke – a consequence of overheating of the body. It can be felt not only on the summer beach, but also in the sauna, with special types of work (bakeries, ceramic production). In case of heat, the body is not able to maintain a normal body temperature, and it is growing rapidly. Blood circulation and sweating are disturbed, free radicals accumulate in the tissues. Heat stroke can cause severe consequences, even cardiac arrest.
Sunstroke is a particular example of heat stroke. After a long stay in the open sun without protection, the head overheats, the vessels dilate, and blood stagnates in the brain. During sunstroke, the nervous system suffers above all, so this type of overheating is especially dangerous.

Signs of heat stroke. Probably, many are familiar with slight nausea and heaviness in the head when staying in a crowded vehicle or when boarding a car that has spent the entire summer day in the parking lot. These are signs of heat stroke. True, they quickly pass because they were caused by slight overheating. In more severe cases, the main signs of heat or sunstroke are:
redness of the face (in the sun) and body skin (with heat stroke);
dyspnea;
severe weakness;
Strong headache;
nausea, vomiting;
dizziness, darkening of the eyes (nose-bleeding is often observed in children);
frequent and weak pulse;
in severe cases – convulsions, hallucinations, loss of consciousness.

It should be remembered that children and the elderly suffer from overheating worse. At a young age, the body’s natural thermoregulation is still imperfect, and in the elderly it is already weak. Therefore, children and elderly people deserve special attention and immediate assistance in the event of the symptoms listed.

What to do with heat stroke? At the first sign of heat stroke, especially if the victim is a child or an elderly person, you should call the doctor. Before his arrival, the main task is to ensure the cooling of the body. If you feel nauseous, weak, try to take a horizontal position, lying on your back in a cool place. It is desirable to slightly raise the legs, putting a rolled-up blanket, a pillow, a bag under the ankles.
Apply on the forehead and under the back of the head cold compresses (a towel soaked in cold water, even pieces of ice). In the standard driver’s kit, you can use the cooling package (portable hypothermic package).
Provide fresh air: open windows, unbutton clothes. If the clothes are made of thick fabric, or synthetic, then it is better to take it off.
If possible, pour cool water (18-20C) with the body, you can even take a cool bath.
If the consciousness is clouded, you should inhale vapor of ammonia, or 10% ammonia solution (it is in any drugstore, first-aid post, in the driver’s first-aid kit).

After first aid, the doctor will assess the situation, and in most cases will recommend bed rest for the next few days. This time is necessary to restore the course of biochemical reactions, blood circulation, the activity of the nervous system. If we neglect the recovery period, the risk of repeated heat stroke increases many times.

How to avoid heat stroke? Circumstances do not always add up to our advantage, but in many cases heat stroke can be avoided. It should be remembered that there are a number of factors that predispose to heat stroke. These are overweight, smoking, alcohol intoxication, endocrine disorders, cardiovascular diseases. People from these risk groups should avoid intensive physical work, stay in a sauna, bath, on the beach, under the open sun. It is important that the onset of heat stroke contributes to stress and nervous tension – and we experience them in public transport and even in our own cars in urban traffic jams. Try not to be nervous and not take the situation “to heart”. Choose clothing from well-ventilated, natural fabrics (cotton, linen, wool). Do not test your body: regularly ventilate the room. The influx of fresh air ensures the proper functioning of the internal systems of the body, helps to better adapt to external influences (including short-term overheating). Going to the country or to a country picnic, be sure to protect your head from direct sunlight with a light panama or a light umbrella. Choosing the beach (especially for families with children), inquire about the presence of showers. In the case of heat stroke, cool shower water will help cool the body and prevent unpleasant consequences.

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