One of the best ways to enjoy the summer season is to spend time in the sunshine, playing sports, swimming, grilling out, and generally enjoying the outdoors. However, as the days get longer, they also get hotter—and high temperatures can create serious health risks, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So, get out of the house and enjoy yourself, but watch for signs that you’re overheating.
Heat exhaustion is a preventable condition that occurs when you can’t sweat enough to cool down your body. You’re especially at risk while exercising in high temperatures and humidity. The symptoms include:
1. Heavy sweating
4. Weak, rapid pulse
5. Low blood pressure upon standing
6. Muscle cramps
7. Nausea or vomiting
9. Body temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit
Fortunately, you can ease heat exhaustion simply by moving to a cooler place and drinking cold water.
If untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition. It develops after your body loses the ability to regulate temperature. Your sweating mechanism fails, so you can’t cool down. Consequently, your body temperature can rise to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in 10 to 15 minutes. The symptoms include:
1. Confusion and slurred speech
5. Very high body temperature
6. Unawareness of heat and thirst
Call 911 immediately if you see someone suffer from heat stroke, and place ice packs around their body until paramedics arrive.
You can avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke by taking precautions. Drink plenty of water throughout the summer, especially when outside. Choose light-colored and light-weight clothing made from natural fibers and wear a well-ventilated hat. Also, remember your sunscreen and plan your outdoor activities for the mornings or evenings when temperatures are lower.