It's the time of the season for heatstroke apparently. Or whiplash, depending on the day. One day the overnight low is 30 and I have to cover my plants. The next day (literally!) it's 84 and humid and we are all dying from the heat. Next week- locusts. But don't worry, at least we will have some shade from the swarm. So while we are all digging out our a/c's and finding where the heck our flip-flops have gotten to over the winter, I thought would write a post on heat related illness. Trust me, heat exhaustion SUUUUUCCCCKKKSS. You hurt and everything feels awful and you throw up a lot. At best it is miserable. It can be very serious. If you are disabled or elderly, it is downright dangerous. The best way to deal with any heat related illness is to manage to avoid it in the first place. Keep cool. Stay hydrated. Stay indoors when the sun is at its hottest. Turn the darn a/c on. Can't do that? Hit the nearest air conditioned public place. Window shop at the mall. Go to the movies. Head for the public library. Or find someplace to get wet- public (or private, if you are lucky) pools. Splash pads at your local park. A sprinkler in the backyard. Water will cool you down quicker than air and is always a perfect ploy for a cranky kid (or grown up for that matter).
But, say all that didn't work and the summer has become the kryptonite to your feisty one. What then? First, learn to tell the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke. You may be able to deal with heat exhaustion at home (BUT FIRST, CALL THE DOCTOR ANYWAY). If you suspect heatstroke, get your feisty kid's tushy to the ER stat. (or grandma or yourself) Seriously, don't muck about. Heatstroke can be fatal. It really is that dangerous.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion: thirst, weakness, headache and irritability, nausea and/or vomiting, muscle cramps. increased sweating, cool/clammy skin, elevated temperature under 104 (103 in babies)
What to do: CALL the doc. Right away. Then hydrate and cool. Cool baths, cool showers, get where it's cool. Follow the doc's advice. This is even a good excuse for Hippie Pants' favorite dinner- popsicles and ice cream sundaes. Get cool and stay cool. Tylenol for the headache. (Which is a bitch, trust me)
IF THE ABOVE DOES NOT WORK- GET THEE TO AN ER.
Symptoms of heatstroke: severe headache, weakness, dizziness, lethargy, rapid shallow breathing, vomiting, flushed hot dry skin, can lose consciousness, temp over 103, possible seizures, may not sweat.
What to do: CALL 911 OR GET TO AN ER RIGHT AWAY. SERIOUSLY. HEATSTROKE IS DANGEROUS AND NEEDS IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.
So, there, now that I am done yelling at you. Stay cool. Stay safe. Have a great summer in whatever level of Hades this heat season turns out to be. If you get bored, swing by. We'll invite you in for a dinner of popsicles and whatever we don't have to heat up.