Steps to help prevent heat exhaustion and stroke
The Sunshine state is known for its sandy beaches, adventurous theme parks, and cool swimming pools. But she is also known for her hot, muggy days. Being careful not to get overheated is the number one rule in Florida.
As reported in an article from the Surgeon General, “We enjoy great weather all year in Florida, so as we prepare for the summer months and rising temperatures, be reminded to use precaution while in the sun or exposed to heat.”
- Drink plenty of fluids to help ward off heat exhaustion. Beverages with alcohol, large amounts of sugar and caffeine should be avoided.
- Limit your outside activity to morning and evening hours. Avoid extended exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., especially while exercising or any activity that calls for physical exertion.
- Sunglasses worn during the day can help protect your eyes and sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher is a great aid in guarding your skin against UVA and UVB rays.
- Dress defensively: wear lightweight, light colored clothing to guard against the heat and reflect sunlight. Also, it is a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors to give shade to your face and neck.
Pam Crain, public information officer at the Polk County Health Department explains, “If left untreated, heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke, which occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. Immediately seek medical attention if any of these symptoms are present: hot, dry skin or profuse sweating, throbbing headache, confusion or dizziness, hallucinations, chills, high body temperature or slurred speech.”
Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke, is life threatening. The cooling system in our body, which is controlled by the brain, stops and the internal body temperature is elevated so much that brain damage or damage to other internal organs can occur. Knowing the signs and practicing caution, especially during the summer months, is essential for the Florida resident.
story by DALE BLISS