Sun safety is always necessary when out in that hot Australian sun. Heat stroke, skin cancer and sunburn are very real risks when you are overexposing yourself to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, even when out of the sun, people can still be at risk of heat stroke from those high summer temperatures.
While people over the age of 75 are less susceptible to sunburn than some of their younger counterparts, they are particularly prone to heat stroke.
To recognise heat stroke symptoms, we have collated this useful list of the most common symptoms to look out for:
• Dry swollen tongue
• Rapid heart rate
• Nausea and headaches
• Dizziness and confusion
• Rapid shallow breathes
• Noticeable change in colour
• Rise in body temperature
• Muscle pains and spasms
As potentially harmful as the sun can be, it does provide a vital source of Vitamin D for strong and healthy bones and muscles.
So, since heatstroke is avoidable, we at Freedom have generated a list of preparations for proper sun protection:
• Stay indoors at the hottest hours (typically between 3pm to 4.30pm)
• Ensure your house isn’t too hot by turning on the air conditioning and/or fans and shutting the curtains
• Apply sunscreen regularly
• Wear a hat
• Wear a light, breathable T-shirt
• Wear sunglasses with proper UV protection lenses
• Stay hydrated
• Check medications for the potential risk of increased sensitivity to the sun
• Stay nourished with regular, light meals
For those who have family or friends who may be sensitive to the heat, we recommend regularly checking in to ensure they are managing in the heat this summer.
For treatment against overheating and heat stroke, we suggest:
• Cooling down with a cold wet cloth and/or ice pack
• Drinking plenty of water in small sips
• Removing tight and excess clothing
• Stretching any muscle cramps
• Laying down in a cool and shady setting
• Prepare to give CPR if necessary and call 000 (or 112 for mobiles) if the person is unconscious, vomiting or unable to drink
For further advice, please speak to your physician. The chemists also offer hydration options such as Hydralyte that restores vital electrolytes and can help decrease some of the symptoms of heat stroke.
We at Freedom Aged Care hope our community members safely enjoy the beautiful warm weather this summer has to offer.