Summer is the time of year when everyone wants enjoy spending time in the
outdoors. Summer is also the time of year when the most heat related emergencies,
like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, occur. We recommend being aware
of your body’s temperature and taking the preventative steps listed below.
Heat exhaustion is caused by the failure of your body to cool itself in
hot weather. This can be caused by dehydration and not wearing the proper
clothing for the heat. The main symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy
perspiration, dizziness, nausea, headache, dark colored urine and feeling
weak. You need to move into an air conditioned building, or at the very
least a shaded area, if you have these symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids
and take a cool shower or bath if you can. Heat exhaustion could lead
to heat stroke if not treated properly.
Heat stroke is when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees or higher
after exposure to hot weather or extremely strenuous exercise. Your heart
rate and breathing may be fast, and your skin may be flushed. You may
also have a headache. Like heat exhaustion, it is very important to go
into an air conditioned building, and cool yourself down with a cool bath
or cooling blanket. Heat stroke is more severe than heat exhaustion and
we recommend calling 911 and being transported to a hospital if you have
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are ailments no one ever wants to experience.
Here are some ways we suggest preventing heat related illnesses:
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids daily.
- Wear loose fitting and lightweight clothes when outdoors.
- Stay inside an air conditioned room when you can.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Don’t exercise when temperatures are too hot.
Have questions about preventing heat related illnesses? Feel free to contact
Saint Francis Healthcare’s
Cardiovascular Services with your inquiries.