How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness
Today—June 21st—is the first full day of summer! As the heat and humidity rise and record-breaking temperatures hit in some areas of the country it’s important to reduce your risk for serious conditions like heat stroke. Older adults, children, and people who work outside are particularly vulnerable to the heat.
Heat-related illness usually progresses in three stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke—which is a medical emergency. To cut your risk, drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages (water is best) and avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day—usually between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Symptoms that require immediate cooling measures include increased thirst, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, weakness, and agitation or anxiety. Heat stroke can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention. Signs of heat stroke include mental confusion, an absence of sweating, and reddened skin that is dry to the touch. If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1.