What is Heat Stroke and How Can You Prevent It?

A quick guide to staying safe in the summer heat

As summer approaches, it brings along an intense heat and the opportunity for outdoor adventure. While most people enjoy the outdoors without issue, heat stroke can be a serious issue—and it’s one you should be aware of.

Heat Stroke is the most serious result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Especially risky during very hot and humid days and when people are participating in physical activity, the condition can kill or cause damage to the brain if not treated quickly.

It’s usually partnered with dehydration and leads to a body temperature of 105 degrees or more. Heat stroke is characterized by a throbbing headache, muscle weakness, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, shallow breath, seizures and unconsciousness. Older people, those drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and outdoor athletes are at the highest risk and if you think you or someone with you is suffering heat stroke you need to seek medical help immediately. While help is arriving, try to get to a cool place or apply ice, if possible.

Here’s How You Can Prevent Heat Stroke:

—Wear sunscreen

—Choose light colored, loose-fitting clothing

—Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, but be wary of salt-depletion

—Avoid alcohol and caffeine 

—Avoid the hottest part of the day (noon to three)