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When temperatures rise, we need to be vigilant about dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and occurs when the body's temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
A Swedish sports doctor provides guidance about what to do if someone experiences heat stroke and how to prevent it
What is heat stroke?
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
What should I do if I’m with someone exhibiting symptoms of heat stroke?
- Timing. Make sure to avoid being out or exerting yourself during the hottest period of the day, typically from about 12 to 4 p.m.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after any activity. You can gauge your hydration by the color of your urine — clear or very light yellow represents good hydration. Anything darker means that your hydration is lacking.
- Acclimation. Get yourself used to temperature changes. The highest risks come at the start of hot weather. You should not simply go from cold weather routines to completing the same workouts in heat. Rather, shorten your workout; slowly start to build and soon you can be back to your regular routine with less risk.
- Humidity. Keep an eye on the barometer. Our summers are often quite dry, but we do get some humid days.. A humid day will feel much hotter than a dry one and make you reach your limit a bit sooner.
What other safety tips should we keep in mind during warmer weather?
- Wear breathable sun-protection! Avoid heavy cotton, non-breathable nylon and go with some of the great new materials that are light, breathable and offer good sun protection.
- Be sure to have a light hat and a good pair of sunglasses on hand to protect your face and eyes, especially.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen! Anything with an SPF of 30 or more is great and make sure to reapply frequently (every one to two hours) if you are sweating or out on the water. We wait all winter for this glorious but short summer stretch. We want to be safe and healthy to enjoy as many of our precious summer moments as possible.
Learn more and find a doctor
If you have questions about heat stroke, contact Primary Care at Swedish. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.
Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.
Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.