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Tips to Prevent Heat-Related Health Problems

Jul 09, 2020

With a heat advisory in effect for the area, Cornerstone Family Healthcare wants to share the following recommendations for staying cool and safe during as the weather rises to dangerously hot and humid temperatures.

 

Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash are all preventable. Here are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car.  Car temperatures can feel like the triple digits in a matter of minutes when left parked in the sun. If you see a child or pet locked in a hot car you’re advised to write down the license plate number and car description and call police immediately.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wear light-colored clothing.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours.
  • Pace yourself while working or exercising in hot weather. Stay hydrated, take breaks and stay in the shade if you can.
  • If it’s too hot in your home, take a cool bath or shower.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, try find a cooling shelter in your area.
  • Keep an eye on people more likely to become ill from the heat: babies, young children, and older adults. If heat-vulnerable people have no air conditioning, take them to a location that does.
  • Never get right in a vehicle that has been parked in the sun to avoid contact burns with surfaces.
  • Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.

CDC-listed symptoms leading to heat exhaustion include a lack of strength and energy, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, heavy sweating, pale and/or clammy skin, a weak pulse, muscle cramps, and fainting. Heat stroke symptoms include an altered state and any of the following symptoms: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, body temperature above 103° F, hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting and losing consciousness.

If you or someone you are with begins to experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911. Get to a cool, shaded place, remove unnecessary clothing, cool the body by spraying it with cool water and hydrate.

As a reminder, if you go indoors during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in a public location, to always wear a mask and continue to observe social distancing.

 

 

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