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Summer Safety Tips for Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke Prevention

June 20, 2018

Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke Prevention

It is the dog days of summer, which means the heat index could likely hit 100 degrees or more. And, while the temperature outside is rising, so is the temperature inside your body, which can lead to heat exhaustion or even heatstroke if not monitored correctly. Here to talk with us today about enjoying the outdoors staying safe from the heat is Dr. Amr Kamhawy with UnityPoint Clinic.

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is sweating but the sweat is not evaporating due to the humidity. The body's system becomes overloaded. 

Some of the signs include:

  • Severe thirst

  • Nausea and muscle weakness

  • Irritability and headaches

  • Increased sweating with, cool clammy skin

  • Elevation of body temperature

What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke occurs if someone experiencing heat exhaustion does nothing. It occurs when the body stops controlling the temperature and the body temperature soars to 106 degrees or higher in 10-15 minutes. Heatstroke can cause permanent brain damage or even death if not treated immediately.

What are some ways to prevent heat illness?

  • Always drink plenty of fluids before and during an activity in hot, sunny weather

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitted clothing

  • Do not take place in rigorous activity between the hours of noon and 6 p.m.

  • Pay attention to heat advisories and other weather broadcasts and heed it

What should you do to help someone suffering from a heat illness?

  • Bring the person inside or to shade immediately

  • Get rid of any unnecessary clothing items and fan or spray with cool water

  • Drink re-hydration drinks such as sports drinks that contain electrolytes

  • Rest for the next 24 hours and avoid strenuous activity for the next 1-3 days

  • If the condition seems serious (such as heatstroke), call 911 immediately

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