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HealthBeat - Heat Stress

As we face those hot summer months with consistent triple digit heat, it's important for you and your family to be aware of the early signs of heat stroke or dehydration and how to avoid it.
As we face those hot summer months with consistent triple digit heat, it's important for you and your family to be aware of the early signs of heat stroke or dehydration and how to avoid it.

The CDC reports that heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body is exposed to an excessive amount of heat and becomes unable to release the heat through sweating.

When heat stroke happens, the body's temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down.

Body temperature can rise to 106For higher within 10 to 15 minutes, and at 106F brain death begins.
   
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be avoided if you protect yourself from heat-related stress by follow these prevention tips from the CDC:

    Drink cool, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages.
    Drink water regularly throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty.
    Be aware that some medications can make you more vulnerable to heat exhaustion.
    Rest, often.
    Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
    Wear lightweight clothing.
    If possible, remain indoors during the hottest parts of the day.


The CDC also advises that warning signs can vary among individuals, but common signs of heat stroke may include:

    An extremely high body temperature (above 103f)
    Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
    Rapid, strong pulse
    Throbbing headache
    Dizziness
    Nausea


Keep in mind that if you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency.

Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person. If you're ever in doubt, call 68-NURSE and a trained medical professional can help answer your questions.

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