Published on June 1, 2019
(c) studiostoks Fotosearch_k37823511
Summertime. Millions of folks head to beaches and pools. Way too many don’t drink any or nearly enough water at these locations: sodas, six-packs of beers are too commonplace . . . as is the sight of people falling asleep on beach chairs or towels
Why is this a problem?
It’s a problem because heat stroke (when the body can no longer sweat to cool itself while the body temperature is rising) results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Sounds high, right? But, do you know how easy it is for that to happen when summer temperatures are in the high 90’s and above? VERY easy.
☀️ Fainting may be the first sign of heat stroke. ☀️
If you faint from a standing position, people will no doubt see it and come to your assistance quickly. If you’re asleep, however, and were dehydrated before that and becoming more so while sleeping, and your body temperature becomes too high and you faint or suffer heat stroke while asleep, who’ll notice? People won’t realize how long you’ve been asleep until you’re already in trouble. Some of the signs are uncontrolled muscle contractions, and muscle breakdown leading to the release of toxins in the blood which may cause cardiac arrhythmia and death. Believe it: People do die every summer.
So, please folks, make sure your drink of choice at the beach or pool is water. Lots of it. If you decide to take a nap, ask someone to poke you in an hour to wake you, and then drink water — and do the same for whoever you’re with on those occasions, especially young kids and older adults. And although it might seem weird or make you feel a little funny, if you happen to see someone lying still in the sun (especially if they’re alone) for hours without moving, bring it to a lifeguard’s attention and have them wake that person. Or do it yourself. They’ll be grateful for your concern, as I know you would be if someone did that for you.