HALIFAX/PLYMPTON– With several weeks of summer left, public safety officials are warning of the proper first aid for both heatstroke and sunstroke. Although similar in cause, the two conditions must be distinguished between as each requires different treatment.
With heatstroke, the skin becomes cold, moist and pale. Body temperature is lowered, lower than normal. A victim’s pulse is rapid, but weak, and breathing is quiet and shallow. They may be perspiring excessively and experience dizziness, faintness, loss of consciousness and cramping.
First aid for heatstroke involves loosening the clothing of the victim and putting them in a relaxed, reclining position. Lowering the head and body temperature should help. Call 911 or a doctor for professional medical care.
With sunstroke, the victim will usually have hot, dry and red skin and a raised body temperature, even a fever. Their pulse will often be rapid and strong and their breathing will be loud and rapid. They may not be perspiring at all. They may also experience nausea, vomiting, thirst, drowsiness, or unconsciousness.
First aid for sunstroke involves loosening the clothing of the victim and putting them in a relaxed, reclining position. Raise the head. Do not attempt to lower the body temperature or apply cold water.
Both sunstroke and heatstroke can be medical emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 911 or a doctor for professional medical care.