Heat-Related Illnesses to Watch Out For
Heat-related illnesses are a serious matter. Common signs to look out for include:
- Heat Cramps – Heat cramps are often the first sign that a body is struggling the temperature. If you notice someone battling, get them to a cooler location and remove any excess clothing. Give them a cool electrolytes-based drink and seek medical attention if the cramps do not subside within an hour.
- Heat Exhaustion – Symptoms to look out for include cramps, excessive sweating, dizziness, fainting, and nausea. The person should be moved to an air-conditioned room and told to lie down. Cool them by placing them in a cool bath or shower or by placing a wet cloth on their body.
- Heat stroke – this is a serious condition where the person loses the ability to control their body heat. Symptoms include a high body temperature, rapid pulse, and hot red skin. In such cases, emergency services should be called immediately.
During a Heat Wave
- Remain indoors and limit sun exposure
- Drink plenty of liquids and replace salts in the body. Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- Monitor weather stations for information.
- Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing in light shades. Protect your head and face by donning a wide-brimmed hat, and use an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.
- Spend as much time as you can in air-conditioned rooms. If your home does not have air conditioning, spend time in the public library or a shopping mall.
- Stay on the lowest floor of a building if there is no air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities and if you must work, try to take frequent breaks.
- Consume light, regular, and well-balanced meals, since heavy, hot meals just increase your core body temperature.
- Avoid salt tablets unless your physician has directed otherwise.
- Remember to check on neighbors, friends, and family who are housebound or do not have air conditioning.
- Never leave a child or a pet in a car in the extreme heat.
High temperatures can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you follow the advice of the weather bureau, keep hydrated, and remember to look after anyone who is unable to care for themselves. Also, ensure your family is aware of your safety plan and knows what to do when the temperature soars.