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As that warm weather heat wave prepares to hit, it’s important that we prepare for what’s to come. Hot days spent on a boat, laying by the pool, playing volleyball with friends… the possibilities are endless and the weather is sure to be perfect. But, because the weather is so nice, the possibility for heat stroke is quite high. Having a heat stroke can be very dangerous, and sometimes deadly. But, how do you prevent it? And what can you do in the event of a heat stroke?

Heat Stroke: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

What is a heat stroke?

First, it’s important to know that they occur when your body temperature is dramatically elevated, and is actually a form of hypothermia. This form of hypothermia can actually be fatal if not treated quickly and properly.

What do I watch out for?

Symptoms can be a lack of sweat, disorientation, confusion, dizziness, a lack of sweat, nausea, and red skin among other factors. The strongest indicator his that lack of sweat and the confusion. If you see someone experiencing symptoms such as these, it’s important to begin treatment immediately.

How do you treat it?

If someone you know is experiencing a heat stroke, it’s important to cool them down as quickly as possible. Get to a shaded or air-conditioned area quickly, cover them with cold, wet cloths or put them into a cold shower. Then, it’s time to rehydrate. Drink water, replenish those lost liquids in the body. As you do this, call for emergency services if the treatment is not working effectively.

If not treated quickly and effectively, heat stroke can lead to a further stroke, coma, and extreme illness.

Who is the most at-risk for heat stroke?

Individuals who are outside, physically exerting themselves for extended periods of time. Say, someone who works in the lawn care business or athletes who are practicing outdoors. Elderly people are also at a higher risk due to the fact that many medications they might be taking make them more vulnerable to heat and dehydration. Lastly, children and pets left inside of vehicles are at an extremely high risk of being affected.