How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness


Symptoms of Heat Related Illness

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating

  • Weakness

  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin

  • Fast, weak pulse

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fainting

Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature (above 103°F)*

  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin

  • Rapid and strong pulse

  • Possible unconsciousness

How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

Some tips for prevention:

  • Regardless of your level of activity, frequently drink nonalcoholic fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

  • Avoid drinks containing large amount of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is high, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

  • Infants and young children

  • People aged 65 or older

  • People who have a mental illness

  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

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