Avoid heat stroke: Here’s how to keep cool during the hotter days
Heat stroke is fatal yet totally preventable
Mar 13, 2019
I walk to the office every morning around 7 to 8 a.m. In January, I always get stoked on the 15-minute stroll because of the cool breeze despite the sun’s presence. But come March, I make sure to leave my boarding house before 8, before the sun becomes harsh and the surroundings unpleasantly warm and humid.
PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) hasn’t officially declared the start of summer yet, but we already feel the hotter days. This makes us more vulnerable to heat illnesses like heat stroke, which is potentially fatal, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heat cramps.
These ailments are preventable, though. Here are some tips to stay cool until the end of summer.
Summer or not, we should always stay hydrated. Drinking sufficient water makes sweating, which is our body’s mechanism to keep cool, not stressful for our body. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses a day.
There can be too much of a good thing, though. Water intoxication is a thing and it messes with our blood’s sodium level. Just make sure to not drink way more than you sweat out.
Watch what you eat and drink
Diet plays a role in our body heat regulation and maintenance. Food that are rich in fat, protein, and carbohydrates heat the body up while it digests them, so make sure to eat these strategically and moderately. Alcohol, drinks with caffeine, and sugary drinks are also part of the list.
Avoid sun exposure
As much as possible, avoid direct sun exposure especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the hottest period of the day. If you can’t help going outside or if you have outdoor activities, make sure to slather sunscreen 20 minutes before exposure.
Wear loose and lightweight clothing
Wearing loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing helps keep our body cool and sweat-free. If you’re wondering how to incorporate these rules of thumb to your office outfit, we’ve written an article about it.
Know the signs of heat stroke
The Department of Health lists the following as the signs of heat exhaustion, which may lead to heat stroke:
- Warm, flushed skin
- Very high fever of 41°C
- Rapid heartbeat
If you see someone who manifests the signs, here are some emergency measures:
- Move the person to a shady spot or escort them indoors.
- Have them lie down with legs elevated.
- If able to drink liquids, have them sip cool water.
- Remove clothing. Apply cool water to the skin and fan them.
- Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles, and groin.
- Bring to the nearest clinic or hospital.
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