LUBBOCK, Texas — Heat strokes can happen to anyone — you’re outside in the heat, you start sweating and then suddenly you stop. That’s the first sign.
With temperatures in the South Plains in triple digits, people are at a much higher risk of getting one.
“You think you’re doing okay and then all of a sudden it sneaks up on you and you’ve been sweating, and then you stop sweating and that becomes a big issue,” said Lubbock EMS chief training officer Chad Curry.
The heat can impact anyone, but the likelihood for developing any heat related illness depends on one’s age and health.
“We get into a heat stroke symptom at 103, 104 degrees,” said Curry. “That’s when it becomes very dangerous and can even be a life threat. They may have a long loss of consciousness at that point.”
However, what’s most important is what happens before the body gets too hot. Health experts say that heat exhaustion, shown through excessive sweating and cramps, happens before heat stroke.
“If your heat cramps progresses to heat exhaustion and then that progresses for more than an hour, you really need to call 9-1-1,” Curry said.
Before it gets to that point, Emergency Medical Services recommends monitoring the heat and planning your day around it.
“Set times — say I need to take a break every hour, I need to drink a bottle of water every hour…And just remember, if I’m not sweating, something is wrong. Sweating is my natural way to cool myself,” Curry said.
Experts say there is no set time for developing heat related illness. Paying attention to your body is key.
“It just depends on what kind of work you’re doing, are you taking care of yourself? What kind of shape you’re in — are you healthy or naturally overweight? That can definitely be a factor,” Curry said.
It’s important to watch out for kids as well — monitor their behavior and make them take breaks and drink water. Also, never leave your child in the car under any circumstances.
Remember – the sooner you act, the sooner you can avoid risk of cardiac arrest.
Being aware of your own body and taking precautions for yourself and your loved ones can make the difference in avoiding tragedy and recovering safely.