When the summer heat arrives, are you ready? Did you know that extreme heat in the summertime can be deadly? Heatstroke is potentially fatal, and other heat-related illnesses cause uncomfortable health problems. If the temperature rises, keep cool to avoid discomfort and pain. Discover the heat conditions that can affect your family this summer, and how to avoid them.
What are the Dangers of Summer Heat?
- Dehydration. When the temperature soars, you lose a lot of water through sweating. And when you lose water you also lose essential salts and minerals. Dehydration occurs, which results in thirst, poor concentration, fatigue, and muscle pain.
- Sunburn. Sunburn is a painful heat-related problem that causes skin redness and blistering, and can also affect the body’s ability to lose heat – avoid sunburn to avoid heat-related dangers.
- Heat cramps. Exercise in the heat results in painful muscle spasms affecting your legs or your abdomen. If you suffer from heat cramps, massage can bring relief and it also helps to cool the body down and drink sports drinks to replace lost salts.
- Heat exhaustion. When your body temperature rises you experience feelings of weakness and irritability, heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, headache, and nausea.
- Heatstroke. If your body temperature climbs to an extreme level then you suffer from heatstroke. Heatstroke is a potentially deadly condition where a temperature of 105 degrees F or more may result in brain damage or unconsciousness. Symptoms include hot, dry and flushed skin, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, severe headache, confusion, and muscle cramps.
How to Prevent Health Problems in the Heat
Keep drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, even when you do not feel thirsty. Prevent sunburn by staying out of the direct sunlight, applying sunscreen regularly, and wearing loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. Try not to do too much outdoors during the hottest part of the day and if you work outside, take regular breaks to recover.
If you or a family member shows symptoms of heat-related illness, move to a cool place, preferably air-conditioned, to rest. Cool the skin with cold compresses. If you suspect heatstroke, seek immediate medical attention to bring the body temperature down.