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06/16/2022

Recognizing and Preventing Heat Illness

Summer brings hotter temperatures and steamy humidity. This combination can trigger heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and it’s important to know the signs and when to get help.

Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Red skin that is dry (no sweating)
  • Muscle spasms

It is important to cool the person down by having them lie down and rest in the shade. Sponge them down with cool, wet cloths in order to cool the skin. Fan the person to increase cooling through evaporation. Try to give them cool water to drink.                        

Call the paramedics if the person experiences:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or agitation
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizure

Some people are more at risk for heat illness. Babies’ bodies cannot regulate their body temperatures yet, so they are vulnerable to hotter weather. Some medications make people dehydrated, which raises their risk for heat illness. The elderly are at risk for several reasons: normal aging reduces their ability to sweat and get cool; certain medications can cause dehydration or reduce the ability to sweat; and people with kidney, heart or lung diseases are at higher risk.

It’s best to prevent heat illnesses altogether. Take frequent shade breaks. Drink cool water; avoid alcohol. Decrease the intensity when exercising outdoors. Close your curtains or shades during the day so the sun won’t heat up your house. Wear light-colored natural fabrics like cotton or linen to keep cool.

What can you do to help? Check on your neighbors when it’s really hot. Make sure they have cool air in their homes and that they are drinking enough water. Offer to take them along when you go somewhere cool like the grocery store or the library. If you are watching out for others, you will take care of yourself, too!

location icon

Location Finder

Here's your guide to finding any of the facilities in the Aultman family of health services, including maps and contacts. 

symptom checker icon

Need a Doctor?

Aultman Medical Group's network of more than 240 providers is committed to high-level patient care.

calendar icon

Schedule an Appointment

Click below to complete an online form. 

 

donation icon

Donate Today

You can help support and enhance services, and in turn, help patients and their families who benefit from care received at Aultman.

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