Practical ways of preventing heatstroke by Winnie Lim Khoo MD FPNA, Adult Neurologist in Manila Philippines

Here are a couple of suggestions for preventing heatstroke:

  • Drink plenty of water or other cool, non-alcoholic fluids even if you’re not thirsty (check with your doctor if you are on limited fluids or fluid pills.)
  • Plan ahead. Reduce activity and avoid exercise in hot weather. If activity is unavoidable, try to schedule it for the cooler part of the day and rest often. Whenever possible, stay indoors or in the shade.
  • Stay cool and keep air circulating around you. Draw your blinds or curtains and use a fan or air conditioning if possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public place.
  • Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salad.
  • Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen.
  • Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cold water and taking cool showers.
  • Check in on older, sick and frail family, friends and neighbors who may need help coping with the heat. Call them at least once a day on any extreme heat day.
  • Never leave children, older people or pets in cars.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit outdoor activity to the coolest part of the day.
  • Protect yourself from the sun when outside by covering exposed skin, using sunscreen and wearing a hat.
  • Rest regularly in the shade and drink fluids frequently.

Many organs in the body can suffer tissue damage and the body temperature must be reduced quickly. Most people will have profound central nervous system changes such as delirium, coma and seizures. As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be liver, kidney, muscle and heart damage.

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