When the temperatures rise, we all need to be watchful of heat exhaustion and dehydration. The combination of heat, humidity and physical labor can lead to problems. Be familiar with the warning signs of heat exhaustion so treatment can begin early.
The signs of heat exhaustion are:
- Dizziness -fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Heavy sweating
Get the person to a cool place and have them lie down. Loosen clothing and give sips of cool water. Apply cool, moist cloths.
Quick action can make the difference- Heat Stroke can be fatal.
Signs of Heat Stroke are:
- Temperature 103 or above
- NO sweating
- Rapid pulse
- Fast shallow breathing
- Hot, red, dry skin
THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
Get emergency assistance. Move the person to a cool environment and use cool baths or sponging to reduce the temperature.
Drink plenty of water and fruit juices-even if you are not thirsty. Outdoor workers should have 1 cup of cool water every 15-20 minutes. Avoid alcoholic and caffeine drinks that dehydrate the body.
Wear light colored, lightweight and loose fitting clothing. Wear a wide brimmed hat.
Avoid going out in the hottest parts of the day.
Use a fan to blow in cooler air at night and blow out hot air during the day.
If you are working outside, team up with a buddy to keep an eye on each other. Take frequent rest periods in a cooler environment. Schedule heavy work for cooler parts of the day. And watch for signs of heat stress and begin appropriate treatment early.
Remember the young and the elderly are more susceptible as are pregnant women, those who are overweight and in poor physical condition.
Children or pets should not be left in a closed vehicle with the windows rolled dup. Temperatures can reach 140° in just minutes.
*Information Provided by the Knox County Health Department