Stay safe this summer!
As summer temperatures rise it is important to be aware of how to avoid heat-related illnesses. Know the risks!
Recognize the most common heat-related illnesses:
Heat rash: Occurs when sweat ducts become clogged and sweat can’t get to the surface of the skin.
Heat cramps: Salt and moisture levels are depleted through excessive perspiration.
Heat exhaustion: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate hydration cause body temperature to rise.
Heatstroke: This is when the body is no longer able to control its core body temperature.
"The human body is normally able to regulate its temperature through sweating, until it is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death. In 2019, 884 people died and 2,061 were injured in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat..." Continue reading at the National Safety Council.
Signs and symptoms
- Pale, ashen or moist skin
- Muscle cramps (especially for those working or exercising outdoors in high temperatures)
- Fatigue, weakness or exhaustion
- Headache, dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
What to do
- Move victims to a shaded or air-conditioned area
- Give water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages
- Apply wet towels, or have victims take a cool shower
Signs and symptoms
Seek medical help immediately if someone is suffering from heat stroke.
- Body temperature above 103 degrees
- Skin that is flushed, dry and hot to the touch; sweating has usually stopped
- Rapid breathing
- Headache, dizziness, confusion or other signs of altered mental status
- Irrational or belligerent behavior
- Convulsions or unresponsiveness
What to do
- Call 911
- Move the victim to a cool place
- Remove unnecessary clothing
- Immediately cool the victim, preferably by immersing up to the neck in cold water (with the help of a second rescuer)
- If immersion in cold water is not possible, place the victim in a cold shower or move to a cool area and cover as much of the body as possible with cold, wet towels
- Keep cooling until body temperature drops to 101 degrees
- Monitor the victim's breathing and be ready to give CPR if needed
What not to do
- Force the victim to drink liquids
- Apply rubbing-alcohol to the skin
- Allow victims to take pain relievers or salt tablets
CDC tips for preventing heat-related illness
- Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activities to when it’s coolest. Rest often in shady areas.
- Pace yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat.
- Wear sunscreen
- Avoid hot and heavy meals
- Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Stay away from sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body the need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.