It’s officially summer which brings on some scorching days. With temperatures on the rise, so are the number of cases of people experiencing heat exhaustion. Whether your job is outdoors, or you are simply working in the yard or attending outdoor festivities, the heat and humidity can take its toll on you, but if so, will you know the signs of heat exhaustion? This summer seems hotter than normal due to climate changes and global warming so now is the time to learn some common signs of heat exhaustion and ways to prevent it.
Heat Waves Are Upon Us
As temperatures soar to 90 degrees or more, you need to be careful. Heat exhaustion is a heat-related condition that can happen after you have been out in the sun and heat, resulting in dehydration and illness. During these “dog days of summer” you need to recognize that under certain humid and hot temperatures, your body becomes restricted in its ability to cool itself. It’s essential to know some key indications of heat exhaustion and what you can do when faced with this situation. Keep in mind that if you fail to heed the warning signs, you could be faced with an even more threatening situation of heat stroke.
Heat Exhaustion Manifests in Two Ways
Heat exhaustion can come from either salt or water depletion, both of which can significantly cause serious side effects. If you are salt depleted, you may experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If your heat exhaustion results from water depletion, you could experience severe thirst, headache, weakness or even loss of consciousness.
It is vital that if you are out in the hot conditions and begin to feel any of the above symptoms, you need to take precautionary measures to remove yourself from the heat, drink fluids, and place a cool rag on your body. Ignoring the symptoms could lead to heat stroke which can damage your brain and/or organs, and even cause death.
Common Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Knowing some typical signs can help minimize the risks of heat exhaustion. Below are some key warning signs you need to recognize and assess:
- Excessive Thirst
- Rapid Heartrate
- Excessive Sweating
- Pale Skin
Ways to Treat Heat Exhaustion
If you experience any of the above symptoms while being outdoors in above normal temperatures, its crucial to take action. Below are some recommended ways to treat the illness:
- Get into a cool/air-conditioned area
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Place cool towels on your body to reduce body temperatures
- Take a cool shower if possible
- Remove any tight or restricted clothing
After doing the above and signs of heat exhaustion still exist (after 15 minutes), you may need to seek emergency medical care. Again, you do not want this condition to escalate to a heat stroke. These summer temperatures can be brutal, so you need to pay close attention to these signs to be safe. Be careful and enjoy your summer!