Preventing Heat Stroke When Working Outside

Preventing Heat Stroke When Working Outside

During the summer, the incidence of heat illness dramatically increases. Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to the sun where the person affected does not sweat enough to properly lower their body temperature. People working outside are the most prone to developing heat stroke. If you work outside, it is important to understand that heat stroke is a true medical emergency that must be treated immediately by medical professionals.

Ignoring the symptoms of heat stroke can lead to long-term injury or death. Some symptoms of a heat stroke include headache, dizziness, seizure, disorientation, agitation, confusion, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, and hot dry skin that does not perspire. If you work outside in the heat, there are several critical steps you can take to reduce the threat.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration is a major factor in preventing heat stroke, so drink between 2 and 4 glasses of cool water every hour. Avoid diuretic drinks such as soda, teas and coffee as they can contribute to dehydration.

Wear the right gear. Dress in light-weight, loose-fitting clothes constructed from breathable materials. If you use a safety vest, look for lightweight mesh vests.

Work outside at the right hours. If possible, schedule your outside activities for early in the day or later in the evening, which are cooler times of day.

Pace yourself accordingly. Be careful not to over-exert yourself in the heat. Many hard workers push themselves too hard when the temperature rises. Slow down a bit in the heat to avoid overexertion and dehydration, both of which increase the likelihood of heat stroke.

Be aware of your environmental conditions. Keep an eye on pattern changes such as heat waves and adjust your work schedule accordingly.

Keep a buddy nearby. Don’t work outside in the heat for long periods of time without a partner or someone nearby. They can help you get the medical attention you require if you do experience heat-related illness.