How to prevent heat stroke and warning signs that you may be overheating

Local News

You don’t need a thermometer to tell you it’s hot outside, but when you factor in humidity, it’s been consistently in the mid 90s all week.

The scorching temperatures haven’t prevented people from going outside, but it is making them take precautions.

“Focusing on staying under the trees, more stretching, that’s my precaution. To avoid direct light during peak hours,” said Erik Quinones, who frequently exercises at Magic Island.

“Hydration is key making sure you’re cued-up on your water and your electrolytes and usually you’ll be okay,” said Kealoha Mahone, who often trains at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Dr. Robert Ruggieri, president of Island Urgent Care said it’s always easier to prevent heat stroke than to treat it. 

“Preventing it is the most important thing. Be aware of people around you who may not know they are getting dehydrated like the elderly or children. Children will over exercise, running around not realize they’re getting dehydrated so it’s important to teach them to hydrate regularly,” Ruggieri explained.

He said the best way to prevent overheating is to:

-Avoid being out in the sun mid afternoon
-Exercise in doors
-Wear reflective clothing with SPF, it can keep you cooler and protect you from the sun
-Avoid caffeinated beverages that speed up your heart
-Drink lots of water

“Simply, you need water. You do need electrolytes eventually but for the most part its water replacement that’s the most important,” Ruggieri said.

Ruggieri said one of the best natural drinks to help replace electrolytes is coconut water.

But what happens when you think you are overheating?

“Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can be excessive thirst, excessive sweating, palpitations or racing heart, and low blood pressure, like fainting, dizziness, weakness things like that and also the color of your urine,  and also dark urine, the color of your urine can reflect your hydration status,” said Ruggieri.

Ruggieri said if you think you have heat exhaustion call 911, but until help arrives there are a few things you can do.

“You could put a cool cloth on someone and run a fan over them as well and the evaporative cooling really cools down a person quickly… ice you would think would cool you down rapidly but in fact it doesn’t do as good a job as water does… the best thing you can do is drip water on a person, place water on a person and let it evaporate,” said Ruggieri.

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