Heat Stress Can Be Fatal: Know the Signs and Prevent It
As a hot summer brings heat advisories to the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties, be aware that heat-related illness can be life threatening. Learn how to recognize heat stroke symptoms, and teach your family, caregiver, and yourself to deliver first aid for the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is more common in the elderly.
Dehydration caused by heavy sweating or not drinking enough fluids leads to heat cramps. The symptoms are painful cramps, especially in the legs; flushed, moist skin; and mild fever, usually less than 102.5 F.
First Aid for Muscle Cramps
Drink cool water or a sports’ drink with electrolytes; apply cool compresses; and move to a cool, shaded place.
Heat exhaustion can come on rapidly. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle or stomach cramps; rapid pulse; pale, clammy skin; usually with a fever over 102° F degrees; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; headache; dizziness; fatigue; weakness; anxiety; and a faint feeling.
First Aid for Heat Exhaustion
Drink cool water or a sports’ drink with electrolytes; apply cool compresses; and move to a cool, shaded place. Remove PPE and loosen clothing; Continue cooling until body temperature is below 100° F. If first aid measures don’t bring relief, seek emergency medical attention.
Heat stroke can be fatal and requires immediate, emergency medical attention. Symptoms include hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; confusion or disorientation; slurred speech; seizures or convulsions; throbbing headache; and very high body temperature (over 104 degrees).
First Aid for Heat Stroke
Call 911. Move to a cool, shaded place. Apply cool compresses. Wet the patient’s clothing and fan with a towel. Do NOT give them anything to drink. It could pose a choking hazard in their altered mental state.
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