Summer glorious summer — oh, how have we awaited your return!
Before you fill your head with dreams of lounging in the sand and glistening golden skin, don’t forget that summer is also the season of the heat stroke. It’s not something that you can just ignore, given how high the temperature can go during this season.
Heat Stroke Is A Danger In QLD
In Queensland, the average temperature is 32 degrees Celsius, with coastal regions like Cairns experiencing up to 35 degrees or more. Yikes!
So before all the summer holiday-ing commences, learn first how to avoid heat stroke to keep yourself and your family healthy this season.
Who are in more danger from a heat stroke?
Everyone, even the healthiest person, can suffer from the effects of excessive heat brought about by the hot season. However, there are groups of people who are at a higher risk of getting heat stroke. If you belong to any of the group below, then you need to be extra careful this summer:
- Elderly people of 65 years old or more, especially when living alone
- Babies and toddlers
- Pregnant women
- People with lung disease, high blood pressure, and a heart condition
- People taking medication for mental illnesses
- People suffering from obesity or are overweight
- Athletes and other people engaged in physical activities
- People working outdoors
Cause of heat stroke
Heat stroke is a condition where the body overheats because of prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
The most serious case of heat stroke happens when the body temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius and over. At this point, the body fails to self-regulate, causing serious illness, organ failure, or even fatality to the person who experiences it.
How to prevent heat stroke
According to various reports, a heat wave during summer is most dangerous among all natural disasters in Australia. Relocating to places with better weather condition during the season is a brilliant idea.
But if you can’t do this, there are still many ways to avoid heat stroke in summer.
- Drinking lots of water – You must drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Remember to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Experts agree that drinking 2 to 3 litres of water is ideal during summer. Also, try to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks because they dehydrate the body even more.
- Eating cold foods – Aside from cold water, fruits, salads, and a portion of ice cream can also help keep your temperature down. Avoid eating hot meals because these can elevate your body heat.
- Keeping the body cool – The best thing you can do to keep your body cool is to stay out of the sun. As much as possible, stay under shaded areas and take advantage of fans or air conditioners. Take a shower or dip in an indoor pool. If you feel hot, apply cold compress on your forehead and the back of your neck to help you cool down.
- Wearing lighter clothes – Wear clothes that have light materials and light colours. Choose cotton or linen shirts or dresses as these are more breathable fabrics. It’s also more ideal to wear loose clothing and allow air to help regulate your body temperature.
- Avoiding crowded places – The lack of flowing fresh air also causes the body temperature to go up. So, try to avoid crowded places, especially in enclosed areas.
- Being informed – Check the weather forecast to anticipate the day’s temperature. If the weather is not quite favourable, you may want to consider postponing your outdoor activity. This will help avoid heat stroke from happening with your family.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Prevention is always the best way to avoid heat stroke in the Australian summer. Nevertheless, you still need to know the signs and symptoms of a heat stroke so you can help save those who are experiencing it.
A person can experience a heat stroke if any of the following occurs:
- Red, dry, and hot skin
- Dry and swollen tongue
- Rapid shallow breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness and confusion
Get help from the nearest doctor
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition so it must be treated as soon as possible. Once you recognise these symptoms, whether on yourself or others, the best thing to do is get help from a doctor immediately. You can do so by dialling ‘000’, a Doctor at Home service, or going to the hospital or clinic near you.
Residents of the Gold Coast can also visit Greg Keily Chemist for all heat stroke-related prescriptions. We are a family owned and operated pharmacy that’s open every day from 7 am to 9 pm to help in all incidents brought about by heatwaves this summer.
For further advice, please call us on (07) 555 7877 or contact us.
You might also be interested in our article about treating sunburn.