How to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses Ashland KY

If you've endured several months of cloudy winter, a hot summer's day can seduce you into thinking nothing can go wrong . Don't make the mistake of thinking only extreme desert heat can kill. Hot, humid conditions can bring on heat-related illnesses, too. While heat-related illnesses tend to hit children and the elderly more quickly than healthy adults, no one is immune.

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How to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

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Heat-Related Illnesses

Keeping your cool in hot situations

If you've endured several months of cloudy winter, a hot summer's day can seduce you into thinking nothing can go wrong . Don't make the mistake of thinking only extreme desert heat can kill. Hot, humid conditions can bring on heat-related illnesses, too. While heat-related illnesses tend to hit children and the elderly more quickly than healthy adults, no one is immune.

Prevention

Whether you're heading out onto the water, into the desert or exploring a national park , excessive heat can ruin the day as much as sunburn , dehydration or blazing a trail straight through a patch of poison ivy . To ensure you don't overheat,

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat small meals rich in fruit and vegetables regularly.
  • Slow down and reduce your pace as the temperature rises.
  • Avoid exerting yourself during the hottest parts of the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Take regular breaks, preferably in the shade.

Heat Cramps

The least severe of the three heat-related illnesses, heat cramps can also be the most painful. A result of dehydration, these cramps usually strike during heavy exercise in hot conditions. There will be no doubting that you have heat cramps since the condition is usually characterized by

  • Muscle spasms and pain
  • Intense thirst
  • Lethargy and fatigue.

If you suspect you are suffering from heat cramps,

  • Rest briefly and cool down.
  • Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink.
  • Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group.
  • If your cramps don't go away within an hour, call your doctor.

Heat Exhaustion

More serious than heat cramps, heat exhaustion usually occurs when you've lost large amounts of water and electrolytes through sweating. At this stage, the body is no longer able to cool itself and remains overheated. Heat exhaustion is usually characterized by

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cool, moist, pale or red skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Extreme exhaustion.

If you have symptoms of heat exhaustion,

  • Get out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
  • Lie down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
  • Loosen or remove clothing.
  • Drink cool water (not iced) or a sports drink containing electrolytes.
  • Spray or sponge yourself with cool water and fan yourself.

Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstr...

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