When working or exercising outside in high heat and humid weather, a cool bottle of water is not all that's needed. Even though the body is quite self-sufficient when it comes to cooling off in normal weather and exercise conditions, when someone over-exerts and ignores the warning signs of heat exhaustion, it is likely that person is running down the road to heat stroke.
Heat stroke, (also known as "sun stroke") is a medical emergency. It is a condition that is characterized by the body's inability to cool itself off. It is as if your body's own thermostat has been broken. As a result, your temperature soars. When it reaches about 104 degrees F and beyond, it's unlikely that the temperature will come down on its own. At this point, immediate intervention will mean the difference between life and death.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
If you notice someone with the above symptoms, do not hesitate - call 911 immediately. Once a person is suffering a heat stroke, there are some steps that you must take to help before the ambulance arrives:
Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke. Knowing the symptoms of heat exhaustion and what to do if you experience them will help you avoid the spiral to heat stroke
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
If you are over-exerting outside in sweltering temperatures, or you're inside working without benefit of air conditioning, and experience the above symptoms, stop and do the following:
The best way to prevent heat exhaustion is to drink plenty of water or sports drinks before and during whatever physical thing you are planning to do in the heat. Do not go out during the peak heat of the day (usually about 10AM to 2:30PM) if you can avoid it.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat to avoid the sun's rays. Take many breaks to drink fluids. If you're doing yard work or exercising, remember that you can do a little bit at a time and still reap the benefits of a beautiful landscape or a fit body. Besides, how much work will you get done if you suffer a heat stroke?