How to protect yourself from heat stroke?

During extreme heat, people are at high risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heatstroke is a severe, life-threatening condition in which the body’s temperature rises rapidly to dangerous levels. This condition can lead to serious complications and death if not treated in time. Understanding how to prevent heat stroke is extremely important.

How to protect yourself from heat stroke?

Here are some basic tips and strategies to stay safe and healthy in hot weather.

Understand the symptoms of heat stroke

Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature exceeds 40°C, resulting in potential damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. Symptoms include high body temperature, headache, nausea, dry skin, rapid pulse, disorientation, loss of consciousness. The most vulnerable groups are the elderly, infants, people with chronic diseases and those engaged in heavy physical activity. Other factors that increase the risk of heatstroke are obesity, dehydration, sunburn, alcohol use.

Beware not only of heat, but also of high humidity

Heatstroke occurs even at temperatures below 30℃ when humidity levels are high. There is a greater risk of heat stroke in highly humid environments due to the body’s reduced ability to cool itself due to poor sweat evaporation. In general, you should refrain from any exercise in temperatures of 30℃ accompanied by humidity levels above 80%.

Stay well hydrated

One of the most effective ways to prevent heat stroke is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, helps regulate body temperature by allowing the body to sweat and cool down. Here are some hydration tips:

  • drink water regularly – don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Carry a water bottle and sip throughout the day.
  • avoid caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, and cola) and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  • take electrolytes – consuming electrolyte drinks helps replenish salts lost through sweating.

Stay in cool rooms

The best way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned area. If you don’t have air conditioning, here are some tips:

  • use a fan – fans can help circulate the air
  • take a cool shower or bath – they are a good way to cool off
  • keep blinds and curtains closed – this helps block direct sunlight and lowers the indoor temperature.

Wear light clothing

In hot weather it is important to dress appropriately. Select:

  • light and loose clothing – choose clothes made of breathable fabrics such as cotton, which allow sweat to evaporate and cool the body.
  • light clothing – dark colors absorb more heat, while light colors reflect it.
  • protective gear – wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from direct sun exposure. Use an umbrella if you must be outside for extended periods.

Limit exposure to direct sunlight

Reducing the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight can significantly reduce your risk of heatstroke.

  • seek shade

If you spend a lot of time outside, be sure to take frequent breaks to cool off in the shade. Stay under trees, sheds or awnings whenever possible.

  • plan your activities well

Try to be less active during the hottest part of the day, the late afternoon. If you must be outside in the heat, plan your activities so that you are outdoors before noon or late in the evening. Never leave children or pets in a parked car.

Use sunscreen

Protect your skin from sunburn, which can affect your body’s ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply the cream liberally to the skin 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours while in the sun.

Adapt your diet

The food you eat can also affect the body’s ability to cool itself.

  • eat light meals – heavy meals can increase the body’s metabolic heat. Choose smaller, more frequent meals that are easier to digest.
  • include hydrating foods – foods with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can help you stay hydrated.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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