CLARKSBURG W. VA. – With temperatures anticipated to exceed 90 degrees this weekend. It is essential that you take steps to keep cool and hydrated while spending time outside.
With hot weather, our body’s ability to cool itself becomes challenged. Water and electrolytes are lost when we sweat, and if we lose too much it can result in heat-related illnesses. Heat exhaustion and, even worse, heat stroke can result from not taking proper care in hot weather.
Before heat exhaustion occurs the first sign of someone being affected by a heat-related illness is usually cramping, usually in the legs or abdomen. This can be treated by massaging the cramped muscle area and giving water.
The next level of heat illness is heat exhaustion. In addition to cramps, heat exhaustion has the symptoms of profuse sweating, excessive thirst, cool, pale, clammy skin, dizziness, headache, a fast, weak pulse and fatigue.
Heat Exhaustion can be treated by going to a cooler place, preferably indoors in an airconditioned room. Additionally, drinking water in small sips and using cool cloths to cool your body down can help.
If symptoms persist, medical attention should be sought out.
Heat Stroke is the most severe of heat illnesses and if medical treatment is not found immediately, it can result in death. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s regulatory system can no longer keep it cool and shuts downs. Heat Stroke symptoms look like confusion, nausea, loss of consciousness, hot, red dry or damp skin, a rapid and strong pulse and body temperature above 104 degrees.
911 should be called and medical attention be sought after immediately if you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke! Ignoring symptoms can be fatal. Reduce body temperature by getting them to a cool environment and cool them down as soon as possible. Use the same treatments as given for heat exhaustion.
Preventing Heat Illness
There are many different things one can do to prevent suffering from heat illnesses:
- Staying hydrated (which is essential)
- Wearing lightweight clothing with light colors
- Reducing your time outdoors
Additional safety information in hot weather can be found here.
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