Recognize the signs of heat stroke before it's too late

Heat stroke is a serious condition that many farmers are at risk of experiencing, especially during the hot, humid days of a Michigan summer.

If you are working out in the hot sun all day and forget to bring cool, re-hydrating drinks with you, you are at risk of developing a condition called heat stroke. Defined by the Mayo Clinic as a core body temperature of 104 degrees or higher, heat stroke needs immediate attention to avoid serious complications. Other than the high temperature, symptoms include:

  • No longer sweating
  • Headache/Nausea
  • Rapid breathing and pulse
  • Confusion
  • Passing out

While working or exercising outside is a major contributor to heat stroke, genetic factors, medications, age and weight can all play a role in developing the condition. Visit the Mayo Clinic website for a full list of factors.

To prevent heat stroke: avoid sitting in parked cars where the temperature can raise quickly, wear temperature-appropriate clothing, drink plenty of hydrating fluids, avoid working in the hottest part of the day, and know the signs of heat cramping and exhaustion.

If heat stroke is suspected, immediate medical attention is required, so a doctor can reduce the internal body temperature of the afflicted person to avoid any internal damage.

Related Michigan State University (MSU) Extension News article: Tips to stay safe in the heat

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