Avoid Heat Stroke

“What do I do on these hot and humid days? How do I avoid heat stroke?”

First make sure that you know the warning signs. Do you have pale skin, fatigue, weakness, dizzy or nauseous, sweating profusely, rapid pulse, fast or shallow breathing, or muscle weakness or cramps.

If you experience any of these symptoms, get out of the heat quickly and rest in a cool, shady place. Drink lots of water or other fluids containing sugar and salt. Do NOT drink alcohol; that can make it worse. If you don’t feel better within half an hour, contact Dr. Takhar at 519-620-7044. If heat exhaustion isn’t treated, it can progress to heat stroke.

If you have any of the following symptoms go to the hospital or call 9-1-1 – these symptoms include skin that feels hot and dry, but not sweaty, confusion or loss of consciousness, throbbing headache, frequent vomiting, shortness of breath or trouble breathing. It is so important to get treatment. Heat stroke can be deadly.

Here are a few general tips to follow to avoid getting heat stroke:
1) Make sure that you don’t overexert yourself.
2) Drink a lot of water, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty. But avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol – those will speed up dehydration!
3) Wear loose clothing light in colour and fabric, as well as a hat and sunblock, and stay in the shade or indoors if possible.
4) Open up your windows and use fans, or turn on the air conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning, you can go to a public place that does, like a Cambridge Centre mall, or the Cambridge Library, or a movie theater.
5) Be a good neighbour – check on the elderly and chronically ill persons regularly to make sure they’re bearing up under the heat.

We hope you enjoy the summer and stay hydrated!

-Dr Takhar