Heat Stroke – Tips for Surviving the Summer
by Amanda Everett, RN, Emergency Management Coordinator
Heat stroke is very prevalent in West Texas due to the fact that we, as West Texans, “think we can handle it”. As we all know, the summers in West Texas can be brutal. So here are a few things to keep in mind this summer:
- Be aware of your body – if you are out in the heat, wear light colored and light weight clothing.
- Have a wet bandana or a cloth to keep around your neck. Re-wet it often.
- Hydration is a big part of this. If you are thirsty, then you have already started to dehydrate. Try to have a bottle of water prior to going out in the heat, have a drink every 20 to 30 minutes and have two to three bottles of water after being out in the heat.
- You can alternate sports drinks and water to allow electrolyte levels to stay up. However, most sports drinks have a lot of sugar in them and that will dehydrate you even faster.
- In the event of a heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get out of the heat immediately and try to lower the body temperature in any way possible. Ways to do this include a cold shower, cold drinks or ice packs.
- If the person is having slurred speak or difficulty answering questions, dial 911 immediately.
A couple of other things to remember in the hot months include:
- Make sure that no pets or children are left in cars. The temperate in a vehicle rises exponentially and can cause great harm to those inside the cars.
- Surfaces may be extremely hot as well. So, make sure that surfaces are checked before children or animals are allowed to walk or play on them.
Be safe this summer. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!