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Concerning heatstroke and ways to prevent it by Sean Lee

It’s the time of the year again when summer comes into full swing. Blazing days where 100 degree weather is an everyday ordeal are slowly becoming a reality, as we get nearer to the middle of the summer season.

July and August are the two hottest months of the year where temperatures in Arcadia skyrocket. Not surprisingly, July and August are the two months with the highest rates of heat stroke cases. There’s nothing wrong with having fun in the sun, but it’s important to watch for heatstroke wherever you are! Heatstroke can hit anyone wherever the summer heat beats down, and with SoCal being where sunshine is both a blessing and a curse, risk of heat stroke isn’t something that can be ignored.

To try to avoid this reality, be sure that when you’re out in the sun or exposed to any sort of heat this summer, stay in the shade and stay hydrated. If at any time you feel discomfort, loss of normal functions, or the heat becomes a relentless or inhibitory obstacle, take a break and retreat back into a cool area. While it may seem tempting to just keep going under the heat, the conditions for heatstroke—core body temperature reaching over 105 degrees Fahrenheit—easily develop in SoCal heat.

Heatstroke can hit anyone in a variety of circumstances, so it’s important to be aware of how you’re feeling. Dizziness, light headedness, headaches, lack of sweating even though it’s hot, disorientation and confusion, hot skin, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat or breathing, and fainting are all indicators of heatstroke. If you notice any of these symptoms afflicting yourself or anyone around you, immediately stop what you’re doing, call 911, and begin first aid. Delaying increases the chances of heatstroke becoming fatal, so it is imperative that symptoms be recognized and action taken immediately.

To help treat heatstroke, move the patient to a cool, shaded area and remove unnecessary clothing such as jackets or sweaters. Also, giving the patient cool fluids—especially water—are imperative in cooling down the heatstroke victim’s core temperature. Applying ice packs to the armpit, groin, neck, and back areas are also useful as cooling these areas that contain many blood vessels may decrease overall body temperature quicker.

Stay safe, stay cool, and stay healthy this summer because while you can’t control when it gets over 100 degrees, you can do your best to make sure you don’t end up in the hospital!

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