Beware of a sunstroke

“He must have a heat stroke!” With this saying is usually meant someone who does a little weird. But did you know that the expression comes horribly close to the truth when you carelessly deal with heat stroke? Reason to protect your body well during hot summer days.

When the body gets heated, the body temperature rises. Normally the body responds efficiently to this. You start sweating and get thirsty. You then drink a refreshing drink or take a cold shower and lose the heat.


When you have sunstroke, there is overheating. Again the body temperature rises. This time, however, you do not get the heat sweated out. Your perspiration system fails so to speak and your temperature remains high.

First phase heat stroke

A body temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius is one of the most important symptoms of sunstroke. Headaches, dizziness and nausea are also a sign of the body that you have to get out of the sun.

The skin can react in two ways: hot, dry and red, or clammy and cold, while perspiring violently. What can occur further are a fast heartbeat, dilated pupils and superficial breathing. Muscle pain is also a common phenomenon.

Do you recognize a sunstroke in the first phase? Then look for the coolness and drink something. Preferably a sports drink. This way you can quietly catch your breath. Do not go back to the bright sun again after this experience!

Second phase sunstroke

The second phase is a lot more dangerous and less good to treat yourself. You can start showing confused and bizarre behavior. If you do not do anything about the situation, or rather: if you are not helped, then you run the risk of losing consciousness and getting epileptic seizures.

Eventually a sunstroke can be fatal. In that case you get into a shock: a state in which more and more organs fail, until death follows.

If you recognize a sunstroke in the second phase with someone, immediately turn to professional help. Until the moment that the ambulance staff arrives, you must take the victim out of the sun and cool down actively. This can be done with a fan or a water-soaked blanket (not ice-cold). Do not allow the victim to drink as long as he / she is unconscious!

Prevention tips

It does not happen quickly that someone ends up in the second phase of a sunstroke. Moreover, there is an increased risk of sunstroach, especially for babies and the elderly. Yet it is important to be careful when you go in the bright sun.

A sunstroke can be insidious; without being aware of it, you may have suffered a heat stroke. And who wants to ruin his holiday or day off by a sunstroke? With the help of the following tips you can prevent sunstroke:

Wear light clothing in the sun and protect your head.
Drink enough. Take a sports drink or a broth. At high temperatures you sweat a lot and you also lose salt .
Do not get bored in high temperatures with high humidity.
Take a refreshing, cooling shower often.
Wen to the heat

A tip that deserves special attention is the following: let the body get used to high temperatures. Many people tend to go directly into the sun as naked as possible on the first warm (holiday) days.

However, the body has to get used to the abrupt transition. So do not go from our cold frog country straight into the blistering heat for days on end. Prepare your body by not sitting too long in the sun for the first few days and certainly not in the heat of the day. Keep a siesta between 12.00 and 15.00.

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