With warmer weather on the way, Alberta doctors are concerned about the dangers of heatstroke.
Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and continues to rise without relief.
“Although most individuals can manage moderate summer weather without symptoms, even healthy individuals need to be vigilant about heat safety when temperatures rise,” said Michael Zakhary, a medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services (AHS).
Here are the symptoms of heatstroke:
- Severe restlessness
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Red/dry or hot skin
“It highlights the importance of monitoring self and those who are around us for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.”
Who is most at risk for developing severe heatstroke:
- Extremes of age - older adults and infants
- People with chronic illness
- Physically impaired individuals
- Socially isolated individuals
- People experiencing homelessness
- People who work outdoors
- People who are physically active outdoors
What to do if you or someone else is suffering from heatstroke:
- Move to a cooler area
- Hydrate with water
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine
- If symptoms do not improve seek medical attention
Tips for prevention:
- Reschedule outside activities to cooler hours of the day. Avoid the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monitor yourself and those around you for symptoms
- Stay hydrated
- Keep an eye on heat warnings/heat alerts
Anyone seeking health advice for a non-medical emergency can contact AHS at 8-1-1. A medical emergency should immediately be reported to 9-1-1.
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