How to prevent heat stroke
At this time of the year, take care to avoid suffering from heat stroke
You’re inside your car, parked in the sun, and you’ve thought about moving it to a shadier position but in the end you can’t be bothered, after all it’s only for a few minutes… In extreme heat conditions, a normal situation like this can end up very badly. If the inside of your car reaches a very high temperature, you can start to feel unwell and if you don’t take action in time you can end up losing consciousness. You’re experiencing heat stroke.
We know that when it comes to heat stroke, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, but the risk of experiencing it doesn’t depend on age. All the occupants of a vehicle can experience the effects of high temperatures. Below we explain what you need to do to anticipate and avoid heat stroke.
If you’ve parked your car in the sun, wait outside it. If this isn’t possible, try to minimize the amount of time you spend in the car and fit a sun shield over the front windscreen to significantly reduce the temperature of the dashboard. Bear in mind that leaving the windows slightly open barely affects the temperature inside the car.
Never leave a child in a car on their own. It doesn’t matter if it’s only going to be for ten minutes, or if you think it’s not too hot outside. A outside temperature of just 20ºC can easily become 40ºC inside the vehicle, and in ten minutes a child can start feeling dizzy, vomiting, experiencing tachycardia and headaches, and even lose consciousness. In some cases, if action is not taken in time, the consequences can be fatal.
Pay attention to your pet too; never leave it alone in the car. Animals are very sensitive to high temperatures inside vehicles as they do not have a perspiration system to cool off their bodies.
Before you start any journey, open the car doors to let the vehicle cool off for a few minutes before you get in. Drink plenty of liquids, but avoid sugary soft drinks or beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine, and wear loose, comfortable clothing.
If your vehicle is parked in the sun, take care when you get in not to burn your skin on any of the surfaces. The dashboard, seats, steering wheel and gearstick can all reach a temperature of close to 80ºC if they are in direct sunlight. And be careful when you use the air-conditioning. Going suddenly from hot to cold can make you feel unwell and cause head colds.