Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion?
The hot days of summer are still upon us. Often we have high heat indexes well into September when we are getting ready to embrace the cooler days of fall. Sometimes it is a good reminder to think about how dangerous excessive heat can be. Now with all the added PPE people are wearing like masks, gloves and possibly even face shields, our personal heat tolerance can be altered. We need to remember to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from the heat. Very young children and people over the age of 65 are most at risk. Things we can control to prevent possible problems are staying hydrated and limiting our sun exposure.
It’s important to know the warning signs and the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. The graphic above from Beaumont Hospital gives all the important specifics. Some early symptoms are nausea, becoming light headed or dizzy, fatigue and muscle cramps. Act early to lower your body temperature to help prevent the progression. Get to an air conditioned area, apply a cold compress and start with fluids. Taking a cold shower could help quickly lower your body heat. It is also important to remember to remove tight or excessive layers.
Heat stroke can be fatal if left untreated. Call 9-1-1 if someone is confused, unconscious or hot but not sweating. These are early signs of heat stroke, along with headaches, rapid heart rate, nausea or vomiting. If you suspect you or someone you’re with is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move to a cooler place to get their temperature lower. Heat stroke victims should not be given fluids unless directed by medical professionals.
So enjoy these last “Dog Days of Summer”, but be safe!