What is Heatstroke/Sunstroke?

Heatstroke, also known as sunstroke, is a type of severe heat illness that occurs when your body can’t cool itself down. Heatstroke can occur if you are exposed to high temperatures, or if you are participating in an activity that makes you sweat a lot but doesn’t allow your body to cool down. If not treated quickly, heatstroke can lead to permanent organ damage or death.

Symptoms of Heatstroke/Sunstroke

– High body temperature (103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)

– Hot, red, dry skin or cold, clammy skin

– Rapid pulse

– Throbbing headache

– Dizziness

– Nausea or vomiting

– Confusion or unconsciousness

How Heatstroke/Sunstroke Occurs

Your body cools itself by sweating. During heatstroke, sweating doesn’t work properly and your body temperature keeps rising. Heatstroke can occur if you are in a hot environment, or if you are participating in an activity that makes you sweat a lot but doesn’t allow your body to cool down. Other risk factors for heatstroke include dehydration, certain medications, and alcohol use.

Treating Heatstroke/Sunstroke

Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. If not treated promptly, heatstroke can lead to permanent organ damage or death. Try to cool the person down by:

– Moving them to a cooler environment

– Removing their clothing

– Applying cool, wet towels to their skin

– Fanning them

– Giving them small sips of cool water

Do not give them alcohol to drink.

How to Prevent Heatstroke/Sunstroke

Heatstroke is preventable. To help prevent heatstroke, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather. Wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing. Take breaks often if you are participating in an activity that makes you sweat a lot. And limit your exposure to hot environments.