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Heat Stroke » There's No Reason to Die From the Heat

Warning: No one affiliated with this site has a medical degree or any degree of competency regarding safety issues in general. Consult your doctor before doing anything... even farting. You've been warned.

Dehydration and heat stroke are two very common heat-related diseases that can be life-threatening if left untreated. Very often you'll find the skatepark barren during a day of intense summer heat. Many skaters opt to come out of their air-conditioned lairs closer to sunset to avoid the heat. Of course there's always the die-hard skater who throws caution to the wind and hits the park or streets in the middle of a heatwave. If that's you - be smart!

guy sweating

What is dehydration?
Dehydration can be a serious heat-related disease, as well as being a dangerous side-effect of diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Children and persons over the age of 60 are particularly susceptible to dehydration.

What causes dehydration?
Under normal conditions, we all lose body water daily through sweat, tears, urine - basically anything wet that leaves your body dehydrates you. In a healthy person, this fluid-loss is replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. When a person is overexposed to the sun, dehydration occurs. This is caused when the body loses water content and essential body salts.


What are the symptoms of dehydration?
The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration, although everyone reacts differently:

  • thirst
  • less-frequent urination
  • dry skin
  • fatigue
  • light-headedness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • increased heart rate and breathing

No one wants to sit idle during a prime day for skating, but if you're going to be out in the hot sun take a few precautions.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially when skating hard in the sun.
  • Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing. Drink more than you piss out.
  • Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day - if possible.
  • Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance. Not crap like "energy drinks" - try Gatorade.

In cases of mild dehydration, simple rehydration is recommended by drinking fluids. Many sports drinks on the market effectively restore body fluids, electrolytes, and salt balance.

flaming middle finger

Summary

When you're skating, drink water - plenty of it. Don't wait until you feel thirsty. Thirst and dehydration do not always go hand-in-hand. You can become dehydrated before you feel thirsty. Avoid those stupid energy drinks and soda (pop - to you folks in the mid-west). Insane quantities of caffeine don't actually give you any energy. Instead try something like Gatorade that replaces fluid along with electrolytes.

Although we titles this article, Heat Stroke, we haven't touched on it much. Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of long, extreme exposure to the sun, in which a person does not sweat enough to lower body temperature. The elderly, infants, and skaters are most susceptible to heat stroke. It is a condition that develops rapidly and requires immediate medical treatment.

Go Skate!


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