Suffering from sunstroke is very unpleasant and can cause you some serious problems in extreme cases. Here is our handy summer guide to spotting and avoiding sunstroke when your out and about this year.
The symptoms of Sunstroke
The human body is an amazing and efficient machine and under most conditions can generate or expend enough heat to keep its core temperature without healthy defined limits.
Sweating is the body drawing heat out of the body in an attempt to keep things cool. When your body’s temperature becomes to much for sweating too control the core temperature starts to rise, it only takes a 4 degree rise in your internal body temperature to cause sunstroke problems.
At this point the victim will usually be badly sun burnt, drenched in sweat and very confused. The confusion aspect of sunstroke is a real problem if they are hiking alone as all reason to the cause of the illness and any possible solution is the last thing on their mind.
Other common symptoms are feeling sick and vomiting, sunstroke has even been know to cause temporary loss of vision (another nightmare for the lone hiker).
How to avoid
First and foremost wear a light colored hat to reflect the heat off your head. The same goes for your clothing, a white T shirt is going to make a long sunny hike much more comfortable than any dark clothing.
If your going hiking for the day check the weather and maximum temperature so you know what to expect.
Always make sure you have more than enough water especially if you have no planned route in mind and are just wandering.
If you feel yourself overheating try and find some shelter from the sun or at least slow the pace until things cool down and drink plenty of water.
How to treat
Call for any emergency assistance you can straight away.
Effective treatment is to lower the core temperature of the body as soon as possible by moving the victim to a cool area taking off their clothes so that they can sweat freely allowing the body to dump the excess heat.
Try to cool the head as much as possible.
Make sure they drink some water (the colder the better).
Don’t take sunstroke lightly
Sunstroke can creep up on you before you know it if the warning signs are ignored.
Even survivors of sunstroke can be left with life long neurological problems.
Get yourself a nice hat, load your pack with water and have fun in the sunshine this year.
Sunset photo courtesy Wikipeida