SRC Health Department Offers tips to "Beat the heat"
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 15:36
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 15:44
With temperatures in our area expected to be over 100 degrees for the next several days, the Santa Rosa County Health Department urges residents and visitors to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses and the steps to take to help prevent them.
Heat exhaustion is a form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those who are most vulnerable to heat exhaustion are the elderly, infants and small children, individuals with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Moist and cool skin
- Fast and weak pulse
- Fast and shallow breathing
TIPS FOR PREVENTING HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS
- Drink plenty of fluids that don’t contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink
- Limit outside activity to morning and evening hours
- Rest often in shady areas, or remain inside in an air conditioned space
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
- Don’t forget to protect your eyes and skin by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen (sunscreens with SPF 15 that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are the most effective)
IF HEAT EXHAUSTION IS SUSPECTED
Cooling measures that may be effective include
- Drinking cool, non-alcoholic beverages as directed by a physician
- Resting in an air-conditioned environment
- Taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
Left untreated, heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke, which occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms are present:
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Throbbing headache
- High body temperature
- Slurred speech
For more information, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.asp.