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It's getting HOT out there!!

That's not just the lyrics to a song (sort of), but what is really happening at this time of year.


Heat Cramps, Heat exhaustion and Heat Stroke are the three heat-related syndromes, from mildest to most severe.

How can you be aware of and avoid heat related illness?


Some causes are:

  • High Heat index: High temperatures combined with high humidity and strenuous activity. Your body is less able to cool itself properly in these conditions.

  • Dehydration reduces your body's ability to sweat and maintain a normal temperature. Check if you’re drinking enough water and urinating enough, use the color of your urine is an indicator.

  • Alcohol use can affect your body's ability to regulate your temperature.

  • Some illegal drugs can also effect your ability to tolerate heat.

  • Caffeine drives up your basal metabolic rate making it harder to offload the heat and makes you run hotter.

  • Wearing too much or heavy clothing doesn't allow sweat to evaporate easily.

  • Sudden temperature changes. If you're not used to the heat, you're more susceptible to heat-related illnesses,

ANYONE can develop heat exhaustion, but some people are at a higher risk.

  • Children under 4 and adults older than 65 are more susceptible.

  • Obesity. Carrying excess weight can affect your body's ability to regulate its temperature.

  • Certain medications can affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and respond appropriately to heat.


What can be done to help prevent it?

You can take a number of precautions when temperatures climb, remember to:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Stay hydrated.

  • Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself.

  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or more, sunscreen reduces absorption of the heat.

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat, loose fitting, light colored and lightweight clothing. Dark clothing attracts heat.

  • Never leave anyone in a parked car. In the heat, the temperature in a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and it continues to rise!

  • Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day.

  • Get acclimated to the weather.

  • Take extra precautions when taking certain medications or are at risk.


The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting

  • Fatigue

  • Pale skin

  • Profuse sweating

  • Headache

  • Muscle or abdominal cramps

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Tingling in hands or feet

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Confusion

What do you do if you suspect someone, including yourself, has heat related illness?

  • Drink fluids or sports drinks containing electrolytes (Gatorade, Powerade, others),

  • Get into cooler temperatures, such as an air-conditioned or shaded place, and rest.

  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.

  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

  • Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

  • Pack ice under your arms and between your legs.


If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, or if the person is already showing serious signs, seek emergency medical help. Untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a much more dangerous and life-threatening condition.

I hope that you enjoy the summer weather and stay safe.





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