Summer heat is on the increase and it can be a serious health problem. Heat waves in the summer cause heat-related illnesses that can be fatal – heat stroke, for instance, is very serious. Every year hundreds of people in the US die from the heat. You are more likely to suffer problems in the city as the concrete traps a lot of heat and releases it at night, and you are more likely to suffer if you are an older adult, a young child, or you have a chronic health condition. However, heat can make life difficult for everyone. Here’s how to prevent heat-related dangers this summer.
1. Understand the dangers of heat
Heat can cause health problems when the air temperature climbs higher than your normal body temperature. This makes it difficult for your body to cool itself using sweat. When the body temperature rises it can result in heat-illness symptoms, and may even be fatal.
2. Spot the heat-illness symptoms
Make sure you keep an eye on young children and the elderly in order to promptly identify symptoms of heat illness. The most common heat problems include the following:
- Heat cramps – most commonly experienced when you have been exercising in extreme heat as a result of an imbalance of salts, these cramps affect your legs and abdomen.
- Fainting – a drop in blood pressure may result in fainting. This is more common if you are not used to the heat.
- Heat exhaustion – your body temperature rises but is not extremely high. You may also suffer from nausea, headaches, weakness, and dizziness.
- Heat stroke – your body temperature soars to a dangerous level. Heat stroke also causes confusion, rapid heart rate and weak pulse, difficulties breathing, exhaustion, vomiting, and unconsciousness. Call 911 if you suspect heat stroke as this condition can be fatal if not treated.
3. Take steps to cool down
4. Prevent overheating
- Move to a cool place, preferably an air-conditioned room. Rest and recover from heat-related symptoms.
- Remove excess clothing and apply cool compresses to the skin.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to keep healthy and happy in the heat. It is important to keep your fluid levels high even when you do not feel thirsty. Acclimatize slowly if you are going into a hot environment and you are not used to extreme heat. Take it easy and do not overdo it – compete any heavy activities later in the day.