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How to protect your family from heatstroke by the pool this summer

With Phoenix pool maintenance out of the way, your family is probably more than ready to head into the backyard, lounge by the pool and take the occasional dip. While nothing can be more fun than that, there are some precautions that need to be taken in summer weather, especially when the heat gets a little overwhelming. Heat emergencies in particular are important to watch out for. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, heat emergencies are separated into three categories: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heatstroke is the most serious of the three, so it’s definitely worth learning more about.

What it is
The Mayo Clinic states that heatstroke can occur when an individual is exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time or does physical activity in hot weather. A person who has heatstroke has a body temperature that escalates to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The condition usually develops after a person has already experienced heat cramps and heat exhaustion and his or her body temperature continues to rise. It’s a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical treatment. If heatstroke isn’t treated in a timely manner, injuries, serious complications and even death may occur.

Symptoms to look for
Someone who has heatstroke will not only have a high body temperature, but he or she could also faint, get a throbbing headache, start feeling dizzy or lightheaded, stop sweating despite the heat, have red, hot and dry skin, experience muscle cramps or weakness, feel nauseous and start vomiting, have rapid and shallow breathing, have a rapid heartbeat, and demonstrate changes in behavior like confusion. Seizures, fainting and unconsciousness may also occur, reports WebMD.

What you should do
If you notice that someone is demonstrating any of the above symptoms, your first step should be either to call 911 as soon as possible or bring the person to the hospital. Steps to cool off the person should also be taken, whether it’s en route to the hospital or while you wait for emergency personnel to show up. suggests bringing the individual to a shady area, taking off his or her clothes and putting cool water on his or her skin. Fanning the person and offering a cool drink of water if he or she is able to drink can also help.

As long as you know the signs of heatstroke and take care to keep you and your family members cool and comfortable while you’re enjoying your salt system, you should be able to enjoy a safe and happy season by the pool!