Sunday, May 17, 2015

Prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Always drink 1 cup of cool water
every 15 to 20 minutes when you're working outside.

Be careful when working outside, wherever you live and whatever the local definition of "hot" is.  You absolutely must keep your body hydrated, wear a hat and wear loose cotton clothing. Otherwise you're courting danger. The most common heat illness is heat exhaustion, which comes on suddenly. It is caused by dehydration, which leads to lowered blood volume.

Heat exhaustion symptoms:
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Profuse sweating
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Skin that is clammy and/or cool
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Body temperature that is at or lower than normal
  • Low fever
  • Skin tone that is ashen or pale
 Dealing with heat exhaustion:  

Here are some ways to deal with heat exhaustion, according to webMD (always consult a doctor). Call 911 if these measures don't help within 15 minutes.

  • Rest in a cool room or shady, cool place.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (but not caffeine or alcohol).
  • Remove any extra or tight clothing.
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
  • Use fans or ice packs to make you cool off more quickly.

Heat stroke Heat stroke occurs when your body can no longer cool itself down. Body temp can rise to 106 degrees F within just a few minutes.

Heat stroke warning signs 
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Body temp above 103 degrees F
  • Hot, dry, red skin
  • No perspiration
  • Rapid, strong heartbeat
  • Rapid, sallow breathing
  • Throbbing headache
  • Faintness
  • Nausea
  • Unconsciousness
 Dealing with heat stroke, as recommended by webMD (always consult a doctor):

  • First, call 911. Heat stroke can be deadly.
  • Move into air conditioning or cool, shady area.
  • Remove unnecessary clothing.
  • Cool the body down to about 101 degrees F. There are several ways to do this:
  • Wet the skin and fan air over the skin.
  • Apply ice packs to groin, neck, back and armpits.
  • Put the patient in a cool shower or tub, or an ice bath.
 So by all means, enjoy your work outside, but be smart and avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Your life may depend on it.

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