Sun and Heat Stroke Symptoms

It's summer time, July and August are the hottest months of the year, so I thought it would be nice to remind what sun and heat stroke symptoms are, so that you can all recognize them and take actions.

Heat strokeJust so that we are all on the same page, sunburn is linked to exposure to sunlight.

It leads to an increase in body temperature above 100 degrees (38 C).

Heat stroke, on the other hand, occurs when the outdoor temperature is very high and a person is unable to effectively disperse heat.

Sometimes heat stroke happens together with sunburn.

Children are at risk more than everybody else, the younger they are the more dangerous it can be for them.

Sadly, and here my heart cries out loud, at this time of the year we always hear of someone who left a child in a vehicle in the sun, which causes the child's death.

After all the warnings, after hearing it from others in the news, it still happens, every summer.

Those poor kids die because of heat stroke and dehydration. RIP.

How to Recognize Sun and Heat Stroke Symptoms


Heat stroke symptoms

With heat stroke, typically children (but also adults) report headaches, sense of vertigo, and loss of appetite.

Then vesicles may appear on the skin (they  are signal of sunburn) and, finally, the body temperature increases.

What to Do in Case of Sunburn

Of course, avoid staying in the sun and find shelter in a cool place.

Don't repair under the umbrella (like at the beach for example), as the rays filter and the temperature is still high.

If you do, you may risk having a heat stroke too.

It is helpful to take antipyretics to reduce fever, and moisturize to relieve the discomfort of burns.

Heat Stroke and Symptoms

Heat stroke

With high temperatures, a heat stroke can certainly occur.

But how do we recognize if we're having one?

The early warnings of a heat stroke are drowsiness, irritability and loss of appetite.

You may experience muscle cramps, very high body temperature, lack of sweating, dizziness, confusion, hot and red skin (dry at the beginning, and it kinda turns grayish), heavy breathing and fast heartbeat first, and then light breathing and low heartbeat.

After this first stage, it can turn into an actual heat stroke, with worse consequences (loss of consciousness and even death).

These are the main heat stroke symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Clammy skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness (in extreme cases)

What to Do in Case of Sunstroke and Heat Stroke?

heatstroke remedies

As soon as you realize that a person has a sunstroke or a heat stroke you need to:

  • Bring her/him in a cool place (not inside a tent, even if in the shade).
  • Give them fluids to drink (better if containing minerals, to fight dehydration).
  • Spray some water onto the body (room temperature rather than cold, which would cause vasoconstriction and thus prevent the loss of heat).
  • Place wet cloth on the forehead, wrists, neck.
  • If the person has passed out, lay them down on their back and raise their legs. The head must be on the ground, not on a pillow.
  • Call emergency if it looks bad.

Those Most at Risk

heat stroke most at risk

Those that are most at risk of heat stroke symptoms are children and elderly, but also girls during their period.

Then, also those that perform challenging physical activity when the temperature is above 86 F (or 30 C) and, finally, those that don't eat breakfast in the morning and spend the day outside with high temperatures.

In fact, not having breakfast causes a shortage of sugar in the blood. Combined with the heat it makes the person more vulnerable.

Sunstroke and Heat Stroke Prevention

heat stroke prevention

To prevent sunstroke and heat stroke symptoms

  • Drink plenty of water, better if a little salty (half a teaspoon of salt in a liter of water) if you are sweating.
  • Seek the advice of a doctor if you are taking diuretics, anti-hypertensive, psychotropic or antispasmodics: you may have to reduce the doses.
  • Don't stay inside a car for long when you stop in the sun.
  • Wear cotton.
  • Wear a hat when outdoor.
  • Close the windows during the hottest hours and leave them open at night.
  • Use air conditioners or fans to circulate the air (but don't point them directly on the body).
  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.


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