Summers are what we associate with holidays and loads of fun! It is that time of the year when the kids are free from studies and most of the holidays are spent lazing around. That apart, summer also comes with its share of concerns; too much of playing in the sun and not to mention the horrible heat can make you susceptible to heat strokes and it can leave you exhausted.
In this post, we have listed simple home remedies that can help you battle the heatstroke and exhaustion. Yes, we have ways that can help you enjoy the beautiful summer!
What is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion is a condition where the body overheats due to excessive exposure to high heat over a period of days, accompanied by dehydration. High humidity and strenuous physical activity can also contribute to heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can cause cramps as well, and some other signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, headaches, nausea, giddiness and a rapid heartbeat. If not treated, body temperature could continue to rise, escalating into a heat stroke.
Home Remedies for heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion doesn’t really require medical intervention or drugs. All it requires is the removal of the conditions that caused the exhaustion in the first place, such as: 1. Stop all activity and get out of the heated environment and into a cool room, preferably one that is air conditioned or at least a shaded area with a good breeze. 2. Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding dehydrating ones containing caffeine or alcohol; rehydrating solutions with electrolytes are a good choice to restore the salt balance in the body. 3. Apply ice towels or cooling packs to the body, especially under the armpits, on the neck and back, since these areas are rich in blood vessels close to the skin. 4. Get rid of tight and restrictive clothing, especially ones made of synthetic fabric. 5. Take a shower with cool water, sit in a cool bath or if the patient is incapable of doing so, a sponge bath with cool water will do. Spraying with a fine mist spray will also help.
What is heat stroke?
Heat stroke is a critical condition in which the body’s temperature control system fails due to prolonged exposure to high heat along with dehydration. It is also referred to as sun stroke.
Heat stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion and is the most severe case of heat related illness. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are more frequent in young children, older people and people with certain health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. The signs and symptoms of a heat stroke are nausea, inability to sweat, flushed skin, dizziness, fainting and a rapid heartbeat.
First aid for heat stroke
Heat stroke is a critical condition that requires emergency treatment. If untreated or delayed, it can affect vital organs like the brain, heart and kidneys. If you have someone suffering from a heatstroke, you need to follow these steps: 1. Move the patient to a cool, air conditioned place 2. Loosen clothes and tight, restrictive jewellery 3. Sponge or mist with cool water. If possible sit the patient in a bath filled with cool water or under a shower. 4. If unconscious, place in the recovery position and make sure their breathing passage is clear 5. Gently massage skin to encourage blood circulation
We have listed some natural ways to prevent the heat exhaustion and heat strokes.
- Keep yourself hydrated – The most basic prevention is to drink lots of water, even on days that don’t seem that hot. This is all the more important if you do strenuous exercise or work outdoors; drink before, during and after the activity.
- Avoid unhealthy foods and drinks – Restrict or completely avoid alcohol intake in the summer – it is dehydrating and messes with the body’s temperature control mechanism. Caffeine is also a diuretic and is better avoided.
- Dress well – Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothes in natural fabrics that allow the skin to breathe and helps cool the body.
- Stay indoors – Try to stay indoors during peak hours, i.e. 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. When going out, carry an umbrella or wear a hat or scarf to protect your head from direct heat.
- Use Sunscreen – Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn, which in turn affects your body’s ability to deal with the heat.
- Keep yourself fit – Try to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening, to cut down the risk of heat exhaustion due to dehydration in the strong heat.
Preventing heat related illnesses isn’t very difficult, but sometimes we tend to forget the most basic things. It is a good idea to educate everyone in the family about heat related conditions so that they can care for themselves and are also able to help others in case of an emergency. With these steps, summer can truly be a time of fun and happiness.
Image source: Flickr
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