When it gets hot out, do you know the signs of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and how to prevent it? Living in the midwest, we experience some pretty brutal summers at times. When you factor in humidity and dewpoint we can easily see heat index values of over 110 degree fahrenheit! Knowing the signs and the steps you can take to keep from overheating can ultimately SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Obviously the best way to avoid heat stress is to just stay indoors with the air conditioner on full blast. Unfortunately, that’s not always practical. Whether you work outside, are planning on attending an outdoor event such as a party or concert, or you just don’t have AC, we all inevitably end up outside during the summer months. Be sure to drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich drinks such as Gaterade or Powerade. Stay away from sugary drinks such as soda, tea, and energy drinks as well as any alcoholic beverages.
As stated before, we all inevitably end up outside during the heat at some point. You need to know the signs of heat exhaustion/stroke so you can know when to get yourself or someone else help.
Some signs of Heat Exhaustion are feeling faint or dizzy, excessive sweating, cool pale clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, rapid or weak pulse, and muscle cramps. When you start experiencing Heat Exhaustion, you need to take action to prevent a Heat Stroke. Some helpful steps you can take include getting to a cooler space (prefereably air conditioned but shade will work too), drink water but not ice cold if fully conscious, and take a cool shower or use cold compresses.
Sometimes you may not notice that you are expericing symptoms of Heat Exhaustion. That can lead to a Heat Stroke. Some signs that you may be having a Heat Stroke are throbbing headache, not sweating, nausea or vomiting, rapid or strong heart pulse, and may lead to unconsciousness. If you or someone else are experiencing sypmtoms of a Heat Stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately! Follow the steps for Heat Exhaustion and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Stay safe when it’s hot out. Know your limits, the signs of heat exhaustion, steps to prevent a heat stroke, and the difference between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke. It may very well save your life or someone elses!
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