Published on June 1, 2019
(c) studiostoks Fotosearch_k37823511
It’s almost summer, and millions of folks will head to beaches and pools. Way too many people don’t drink any or nearly enough water at these locations: sodas, six-packs of beers are too commonplace . . . as is people falling asleep on beach chairs and 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 low 100’s? VERY easy.
☀️ Fainting may be the first sign of heat stroke. ☀️
Now, if you’re standing up when you happen to faint, you’ll fall, and people will see that and come to your assistance quickly. But, if you’re already asleep, 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 you’re 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.
Plus, if you initially fell asleep exposed to the sun, instead of under an umbrella for example, you will also suffer the consequences of a really terrible, excruciating painful sun burn.
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 younger 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.