During summer, there’s a real possibility of excessive heat. As professional drivers who spend hours in an enclosed cab in the street and the heat, there’s a real risk of getting heat stroke. The chances of this happening are further worsened if your truck breaks down on the road and there’s no shade ad you have been standing in the sun for hours.
Prolonged exposure to heat and lack of hydration can result in what is known as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Usually, a clear indicator that you have heat stroke is when your body’s core temperature is over 104 °F (40°C). When this happens, your body loses its ability to cool itself, resulting in the various symptoms:
- Excessive and Uncontrollable Sweating
- Increased Body Temperature
- Dizziness and Confusion
- Tachycardia or Increased Heart Rate
- Nausea and Headaches
- The Color of the Urine Becomes Darker
- Cramps and Muscle Weakness
- Pale Skin Color
- Fatigue and Tiredness
These are pretty much the signs of heat stroke. So, if you are a professional driver who has been on the road for hours on end, you need to be careful particularly when the weather is hot and humid.
What to Do to Prevent Heat StrokeThe best approach to heat stroke is to prevent it in the first place. This is why taking hot drinks in the heat in the first place is not advisable. Apart from that, try and stay hydrated while on the road. By hydration, we do not mean soda or sugary drinks.
Sure, those are fluids, but the stress your body has to go through to break those down in addition to the heat will eventually take its toll on your body. So, for now your best bet is just to drink water -lots of it. If you have to empty your bladder every 2-3 hours, that is okay.
You should also try and avoid excessive exposure to the heat for long periods. As much as possible, if you must stay out, make sure there’s some shade. If your truck breaks down, you can always stay in the shade of the truck until help arrives.
If you have access to an air-conditioned place, stay there any opportunity you get. If you are on any medications, talk to your doctor and find out if it has side effects that might temporarily elevate your body’s temperatures. If they do, he’ll prescribe alternatives that you can use.
Also, avoid staying in parked cars during the heat even if the AC is on. Also, if your truck has been parked in the sun for longer than ten minutes, you may want to allow it cool off before driving off.
What to Do to Cure Heat Stroke and Get Some Relief
Cold fluids are your friend once you experience this. The first step to getting some relief is getting some cold drink into you. Avoid alcohols. Just plain cold water will do the magic. Then get into a place with shade or AC as quickly as possible.
If you are wearing any tight clothes, get rid of it immediately and change into some loose fitting, light material and cotton clothes. Use fans and ice towels to cool down. Also, try and take a cold shower to cool down too.
If you find that you are shivering from the cold, get in touch with a doctor who will prescribe benzodiazepine, which will help you stop shaking. Shivering is not good for you at that time because it is your body’s way of trying to get its temperature up again.
If you do all the above mentioned, you should be fine. However, whatever the case, you should try to prevent it in the first place. Something as simple as pouring some cold water on your head on a sweltering hot, humid, and still afternoon will go a long way in preventing excessive heat exposure.
Oscar King provides health and safety consultations for shipping companies all over the US, and spots ways they can prevent pricey worker’s compensation claims. Another thing he checks is to make sure all drivers are up to date on their physical certifications, in those cases where they’re not, he uses the directory provided by Driver Physicals to find a DOT examiner in the area. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting his Google+.