Whether you are enjoying a sunny day outside, or are trekking to work on a hot day via city subway, heat-related illness’ can strike at any time and can be deadly. The most dangerous type of heat-related illness is heatstroke.
Other common heal-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and heat cramps.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion range but are often flu-like (severe thirst, headache, fatigue, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea) in addition to “profuse sweating, clammy or pale skin, dizziness, rapid pulse and normal or slightly elevated body temperature.”-NSC
Heat cramp symptoms include cramps or spasms, usually in the legs or abdominal muscles. If you are an athlete or worker who experiences these symptoms take a few hours to rest before returning to work.
If you notice someone experiencing heat exhaustion or heat cramps get him/her to a shaded area and provide them with a cold nonalcoholic beverage. If symptoms don’t improve seek medical attention.
To avoid heat-related illnesses the CDC suggests the following:
- Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol
- Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat
- Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks
- Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself
- Pace yourself when you run or otherwise exert your body