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Beat Heat Exhaustion
The National Weather Service says more than thirty deaths can be blamed on the heat. High temperatures are not to be taken lightly. You need to know the signs for heat exhaustion and heat cramps and what to do if they occur.
These are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. They are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.
Signs: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
What to do:
- Move to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Try to get cool, including drinking small amounts of cool water to drink. Watch for changes in condition.
- If vomiting occur or a loss of consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Also known as sunstroke, this is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
So how do you stay cool in this hot, hot, hot weather? Here are five things you should be doing.
- Stay hydrated! You’ll tolerate the temps much better if you increase your water intake. Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks. Water is your friend. Drink it up.
- Find a cozy air conditioned spot and chill inside. A matinee movie can be the perfect escape. And, it’s always comfortable at the local mall or museum.
- If you are outside wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing which is less likely to absorb the heat.
- Eat several small, easy, cool meals. Fresh vegetable salads, fresh fruit cups, whole grains and cheeses can all contribute to cool nutritious summer meals. Avoid hot soups, casseroles and other hot food that can actually make you feel warmer at meal-times.
- Heat rises, so if you’re in a non air conditioned home, apartment or building, stay on the lowest floor possible.
Also take special note of the needs of the very young and the very old as well as pets during hot weather. And for goodness sake, invest in sunscreen.