People suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature control system is
overloaded and the body can no longer cool itself. As long as blood is flowing properly to the skin, extra heat from the body is pumped to the skin and removed by sweat evaporation. If fluids are not replaced soon enough, heat stroke can result, potentially leading to brain damage or death.
Symptoms of heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak but rapid pulse and headaches. People with these symptoms should find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation.
Here are some tips to follow that will reduce your likelihood of becoming a heat casualty.
THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE ANY ADVICE OF ANY PHYSICIAN AND MAY NOT BE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES OR LOCALE. ALWAYS CONSULT A MEDICAL DOCTOR IN ANY MEDICAL MATTER.
- Keep an eye on those at risk - Check on elderly neighbors, homeless, or mentally ill who may need your help when the weather is dangerously warm.
- Cars and heat don't mix - NEVER leave children, pets or people needing special care in parked cars when the temperature is high.
- Remember your pets - Pets also need water, shade, and a cool place to rest.
- Drink plenty of water - Your body needs water to keep cool. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Cover your head - When you have to be outside in the sun, make sure you and your small children have your heads protected.
- Baths and showers are good - Cool down with frequent cool baths or showers, but do not take a shower immediately after becoming overheated. You may cool down too quickly and become ill or dizzy.
- When (or if)working outside - take precautions - wear proper clothing, take frequent breaks, try and work during the very early morning hours, cover your head, drink plenty of water and slap on sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher.