First aid for overheating and sunburn

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Especially older people and young children are prone to heat sunburn. Newborns and infants do not have developed thermoregulatory mechanisms and are already at risk after a few minutes. Learn to reveal the first signs of overheating, and how to avoid it.

The body begins to overheat when the body is not able to cool for extreme external conditions or for increased heat production in the body. If the automatic maintenance of body temperature fails, a thermal sunburn occurs. This is accompanied by failure of important organs and brain involvement. In young healthy people, it usually results from extremely increased or prolonged physical exertion. Classic sunburn is more typical of elderly and sick people, children, or people exposed to high outside temperatures.

How it happens

“Overheating occurs when the body generates or receives more heat than it can deliver to the environment. In the initial phase, the body tries to move blood from the central parts of the body to the skin. Heat regulation fails gradually, heat is removed from the center, the temperature increases and the result is heat stroke, ”explains doc. MD. Viliam Dobias, PhD.

The dominant ways to lose heat from the body in a warm environment are radiation and evaporation. However, at 35 ° C, radiation is stopped and there is only one way – evaporation. During exercise it is common for sweat formation to reach 1 to 2 liters per hour, but evaporation is also stopped at 100% relative atmospheric humidity and the body will lose its last cooling option. “At this point, the automatic maintenance of the thermal balance by the organism is canceled and the overheating begins,” rescues the rescuer.

Symptoms of overheating

  • non-specific symptoms that may resemble a feverish disease, such as influenza,
  • fatigue and weakness,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • headache and muscle pain,
  • dizziness,
  • muscle cramps and pain,
  • irritability,
  • changes in blood pressure and pulse rate when standing (after sitting and lying), pounding heart,
  • temperature up to 41 ° C.

Symptoms of sunburn

  • any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion (fatigue, restlessness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, rapid breathing, accelerated pulse)
  • characterized by sudden onset disorders in 80% of patients,
  • bizarre behavior, hallucinations, changes in mental status, confusion, disorientation, unconsciousness
  • sweating is present, although sweating is characteristic of heat stroke, but mainly as a late symptom. Half of the patients have dry skin – typically when exaggerated.

What increases the risk of overheating and sunburn?

  • Diseases: cardiac, cutaneous (eg scleroderma), dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, internal secretion glands (thyroid gland, pancreas), neurological diseases (Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy), fever.
  • Lifestyle: exercise in a hot environment, lack of air conditioning and ventilation, unsuitable clothing (tight, tight), lack of acclimatization, reduced fluid intake, hot environment (tents, car stay, sauna, spa).
  • Taking medicines and drugs: medicines for high blood pressure and heart rhythm disorders, medicines for drainage, for stomach and intestine diseases, for allergies and for mental illness, drugs and alcohol.
  • Obesity, water and salt excretion disorders.

First aid

  1. Transfer the victim to a cold environment and place it in a lying or lying position.
  2. Start cooling in any way:
  • by spraying with lukewarm water and washing to accelerate evaporation. Cold water is not suitable;
  • inserting an ice bag wrapped in a towel to the neck, armpit, and groin
  • cover the person with a damp sheet
  1. Serve the victim with unsweetened and non-flavored tap water. Adjust the amount so that the urine is only slightly yellow in color and odorless. Darker urine indicates a lack of fluid.
  2. If the symptoms do not diminish after 30 minutes, seek medical advice.
  3. If the victim is confused or unconscious, call the ambulance immediately.

Prevention is the foundation

Especially elderly people and children are prone to heat sunburn. Newborns and infants do not have developed thermoregulatory mechanisms; Elderly is associated with associated diseases, drug use, slow thermoregulation, and a weaker social background. Doc. MD. Jana Hamade, PhD., Head of the Department of Children and Youth Hygiene: „The Parents should regularly check that children wear light, light, airy clothing, headgear, high-quality sunglasses, and use high-UV creams. protective factor. Increased physical exertion should be adapted to the environment, children should take longer breaks in the shade and not expose themselves to sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm. “

Furthermore, Professor Dobiáš recommends:

  • Drink plenty of fluid 24 hours before the reported heat. It is ideal to start with it the morning after waking up. Get used to drinking a glass of fasting water before breakfast.
  • Choose rather lukewarm than cold drinks that the body must first heat.
  • Do not stay in direct sunlight.
  • Ventilate early in the morning or later in the evening and do not open windows during the day.
  • Shorten cooking and staying in the kitchen.
  • Limit alcohol and very rich meals.
  • Insulation in homes and apartments not only reduces heat leakage in winter, but also helps to maintain a constant temperature during hot weather. Therefore, it is worthwhile to insulate the prefabs.
  • Dress up a lightweight, light-colored garment. Nudity does not protect against heat, but rather a layer of air under clothing.
  • Short showering in lukewarm water also 2 – 3 times a day will help maintain thermal balance.
  • Do not forget to increase the fluid intake (eg hypotonic mineral water – label on the label) during exercise and exercise.
  • Monitor weight loss before and after exercise. Loss of more than 7% of body weight means severe dehydration. Loss of 5 – 6% suggests moderate fluid loss. 2 – 3% down from weight reveal easy fluid loss.

Advice for breastfeeding mothers: In the case of high ambient temperatures above 30 ° C in the summer months, try to put the baby to the breast as often as possible. If lactation fails to cover the baby’s demands for liquids, boiled baby water can also be given. Introduce baby teas together with non-dairy foods.



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