I hope that you will never need to know about heat stroke first aid! Heat stroke is a very dangerous, potentially life-threatening situation.
Fortunately, you can prevent heat stroke by following some basic common sense rules.
Our bodies are designed to stay at about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. (That's 37 degrees Celsius.)
We have all sorts of built-in mechanisms to keep us at or near this temperature:
But sometimes we overwhelm those systems. We heat up faster than our body can cool down.
If this situation is left untreated, we experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, like headache, chills, and dizziness. Click here for detailed information about heat exhaustion symptoms and treatment.
Ideally, we pay attention to those symptoms and take immediate action to fix things. We get out of the sun, have a drink of water, and rest.
What if we don't? Heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, a very dangerous and potentially fatal condition. Heat stroke is a medical emergency! Heat stroke first aid must be started as soon as heat stroke symptoms appear.
It's important to note that not all of these heat stroke symptoms will necessarily be present.
A temperature of 106 F (41 C) is dangerously high.
The skin may be hot and dry as well as red.
The patient may suddenly become drowsy or irritable. This can rapidly progress to a state of confusion and agitation - and then to hallucinations.
If left untreated, a heat stroke victim may fall into a coma.
You must bring down the patient's temperature rapidly - but without causing damage.
Here's what to do:
Dial 911, or send someone to summon medical aid.
If you have a hammock - and can quickly get the person into it - do so. This allows heat to escape from all directions.
If there is no hammock, lay the person on the ground.
Strip off his or her clothes quickly.
Continue these measures until the patient improves mentally - or until the body temperature drops to 102 F/39 C.
Then, get the patient to an emergency room.
Don't shock the body with sudden extreme temperature changes that could cause a heart attack. Don't immerse the person in a cold stream, for example.
Rather than having to give heat stroke first aid, learn how to prevent heat stroke in the first place!
Heat stroke occurs when your body heats up faster than your natural cooling mechanisms can cool you down.
Help your body out and let it do what it is designed to do!
Dogs are more prone to heat stroke than we are.
That's not surprising!
This may sound obvious, but too many dogs get heat stroke every year because their owners ignore this common sense rule:
Even with the windows partly open, a car can heat up to a dangerous temperature very quickly.
Dogs might exhibit some of the same signs of heat stroke as humans:
Watch also for these dog-specific heat stroke symptoms:
Heat stroke first aid for dogs is similar to that for humans: