North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one or more parts of the United States. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses
During extremely hot and humid weather, your body’s ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of warning signs and symptoms of heat illness, and recommended first aid steps. Some of these symptoms and steps are listed below.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat Relate Illness:
Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.
Here is how you can recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do:
Cold, pale, and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting
What you should do:
Move to a cooler location.
Lie Dow and loosen clothing.
Apply cool wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.
High body temperature (above 103 degrees)
Hot, red, dry or moist skin
Rapid and strong pulse
What should you should:
Call 911 immediately – this is a medical emergency.
Move the person to a cooler environment.
Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.