How to beat heatstroke before it beats us
Singer-actor and former Marikina councilor Sonny Parsons of Hagibis (an all-male performing band) died of heart attack, suspected to be triggered by heat stroke last Sunday, May 10.
Erikk Cruz via Facebook

How to beat heatstroke before it beats us

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark (Philstar.com) - May 12, 2020 - 7:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Almost everyone is groaning about the searing heat, as the temperature in Metro Manila hit 37.3 degrees Celsius last Tuesday, May 5. 

Sandy beaches, airconditioned malls and Baguio City are but figments of the imagination while we fan ourselves nonstop, or put the aircon or electric fan at its coolest, at home. That’s all we can do as we sweat during this lockdown season. 

Others have had it worst. Singer-actor and former Marikina councilor Sonny Parsons of Hagibis (an all-male performing band) died of heart attack, suspected to be triggered by heat stroke last Sunday, May 10. He passed away at 11:40 a.m.,  hours after riding his motorcycle from Marikina City to Tayabas City in Quezon province.

Related: Hagibis’ Sonny Parsons dies of heart attack

The tragedy teaches us to avoid heat stroke at all costs at this time of rising temperatures. 

Here’s what the experts at Mayo Clinic say about preventing heat stroke:

•    Choose loose, lightweight clothes that let your body cool off.
•    Use a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with a minimum of 15  SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Apply the sunscreen liberally – every two hours if you’re perspiring.
•    Drink lots of fluids. This will help you perspire and aid in maintaining a normal body temperature.
•    Do not stay or leave anyone in a parked car. Under the sun, the temperature in a vehicle can go up by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (over 6.7 C) in just 10 minutes.
•    Avoid going out and doing taxing activities during the hottest times of the day. 
•    Exercise caution if you are at higher risk of heat stroke (this usually applies to infants and the elderly). If you have a condition that raises your risk of heat-related issues, stay away from the heat as much as you can. Make sure immediate medical help is within reach. 
•    Is also essential to avoid coffee, tea, soda and liquor and to wear long-sleeved clothes that protect us from the heat.

TV host Dr. Willie Ong says the signs of heat stroke include:

•    Dizziness
•    Headache
•    Flushed skin
•    Lack of sweating
•    Higher body temperature
•    Weakness

Other signs, according to Mayo Clinic, are fast heartbeat, convulsion and very high temperature (41 degree Celsius).

Things to remember in case of an emergency:

•    Turn on the fan to lower body temperature
•    Move the person to a cooler area, away from the sun’s heat
•    Use cold compress to lower body temperature. Put ice packs in the armpit and on the back of the neck.
•    If the person is conscious, give him water or fluid to drink.

Heat stroke is deadly, but preventable. All it takes is a working knowledge on how to fight it before it strikes. 

RELATED: Nature’s way vs infection: 5 health basics to fight COVID-19 

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