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Summer is finally here, and with it comes warm weather. But that warm weather can quickly become hot, sometimes too hot. Heat stroke is a condition that happens when your body overheats, most of the time due to the hot summer sun. Hot weather coupled with physical exertion can lead to heat stroke which in turn can cause serious health complications. If left untreated, heat stroke can damage your brain, heart, muscles and kidneys which may even lead to death. So how can you tell if you are experiencing heat stroke? Some symptoms include:

  • High body temperature (40°C / 104°F)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness / light-headedness
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Rapid breathing / elevated heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Altered mental state (confusion, disorientation, slurred speech)

If you believe you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, it is advised that you seek medical attention immediately. While waiting for professional assistance some immediate treatment you can do includes:

  • Move the person somewhere cool such as indoors or to shade
  • Remove excess clothing
  • Cool the person using chilled water (i.e. sponge, hose, towels) or ice packs if available

Everyone is susceptible to heat stroke so it is important to know what to look for when spending time outdoors this summer.