Heatstroke: symptoms and how to avoid it

The forecast in Kelowna is looking hot, as in: up-to-36-degrees-hot next week.

When temperatures get that high, there is a serious risk for heatstroke.

Heatstroke can happen due to a combination of your internal body temperature reaching 40 degrees Celsius, and over-exerting yourself while out in the heat.

Keith Tyler, training director at St. John Ambulance BC says there are some obvious symptoms of heatstroke to watch out for.

“The big one with heatstroke is that you’re not sweating anymore – if we’ve lost the ability to do that, it means that we’re significantly dehydrated,” says Tyler. “The next one is if you’re starting to change their behaviour. If you’re starting to become confused or drowsy or they’re lost for words, those are signs that the heat in your body is starting to affect your brain, and that’s a very serious situation.”

Tyler also has some tips on how to avoid getting heatstroke in the first place.

“Dress appropriately; a hat is always a good idea,” says Tyler. “Avoid the hottest parts of the day, generally around 11AM to 2PM. And then the other big tip is to keep yourself hydrated.”

On a normal day, it's a good idea to drink eight glasses of water, but on overly hot days, drinking a few more can prevent a condition like heatstroke.

Tyler says seniors, children, outdoor workers, and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition are the four groups of people who are most at-risk for heatstroke.

For more information on how to stay safe in the heat this summer, go to summersafety.ca.