What is Heatstroke and How Can You Prevent It?

Here's a tip: avoid soda, coffee.
Photo/s: shutterstock

Searing temperatures blanket the Philippines at the onset of summer, bringing both discomfort and the threat of more serious health issues.

Yearly, Filipinos beat the heat by going to airconditioned malls, public swimming pools, or enjoying ice-cold drinks and sweets.

 But unfortunately, in worst-case scenarios, the extreme weather can cause heatstroke.

Here are the basic facts about heatstroke and how you can prevent it according to the Department of Health:

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke occurs when the body cannot take off the excessive heat by sweating because of dehydration and/or humid environment.

What causes a heatstroke?

Different factors can cause a heatstroke such as:

  • Hot and humid weather
  • Vigorous exercise in hot weather
  • Dehydration
  • Too much direct exposure to the sun

What are the signs of heatstroke?

People should watch out for the following:

  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Very high fever of 41°C
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Convulsion
  • Unconsciousness

How to prevent heatstroke?

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit the time you spend outdoors.
  • Avoid tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
  • Schedule heavy-duty activities either early in the morning or late in the day when it's cooler.
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How to give emergency treatment?

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you witness one, here are some emergency measures you should do:

  • Move the person to a shady spot
  • Lie the person down and elevate the legs
  • If conscious and able to drink liquids, give a sip of cool water
  • Fan the person and apply cool water to the skin
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles, and groin 

After doing the emergency measures, immediately bring the person to the hospital for treatment.

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