cbs4 My 33 Header Logo

Local

Do You Know How To Spot Heat Related Illnesses?

View Comments
A picture of the sun over South Florida. (Source: CBS4)

A picture of the sun over South Florida. (Source: CBS4)

BAY SCROGGINS Web 600x450 Bay Scroggins
Bay Scroggins joined the CBS4 News team in August 2013 for the second...
Read More

CBS Miami (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSMiami.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSMiami.com/Health

Healthwatch

MIAMI (CBSMiami)  — South Florida weather is great, most of the time, but our heat and humidity can get the best of almost anyone. When the mercury goes above 90 it combines with our high humidity to create potentially dangerous conditions.

Exposure to intense heat, sun, and high humidity can cause heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke.

HOW IT AFFECTS YOU

As the body works to cool itself, blood rushes to the surface of your skin and less blood reaches your brain, muscles, and other organs. This can interfere with both your physical and mental functions, leading to potential serious danger.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Use common sense.
  • Avoid prolonged outdoor activities such as hard labor, jogging, tennis
  • Schedule needed outdoor tasks in early morning or late afternoon
  • If you must exercise outdoors, swim
  • Drink plenty of fluids; 8 to 10 tall glasses of liquid each day
  • Avoid drinking lots of alcohol or coffee; it can dehydrate you
  • Dress in lightweight, well-ventilated clothing, and wear a hat high
  • Use sunscreen, avoid sunburn which can prevent skin cooling
  • Many medications, such as blood pressure medication, increase sensitivity to heat. Check with your doctor about risks.
  • If you have trouble breathing, remain in air conditioning

 

HEAT CRAMPS

Symptoms include:

  • Severe cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves or feet.
  • Hard, tense muscles.

Heat cramps can usually be eased by escaping the heat, drinking salty beverages, and eating salty foods. Massage or pressure applied to the areas affected may help. If your heat cramps do not go away, call your doctor.

 

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Heat exhaustion is a condition brought on when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded, and the body cannot cool itself by sweating.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Gradual fatigue and weakness
  • Anxiety and nausea
  • Lie down flat or with head slightly elevated.
  • Profuse sweating with cold, clammy skin
  • Pale color
  • Dizziness, headache, blurred vision
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fainting
  • Increased pulse rate 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Go to a cool or shady area. Lie down flat or with head slightly elevated. Remove excess clothing, and drink small amounts of water or low sugar sports drinks which help replace the salt which has been lost. Do not drink alcohol or caffeine. Place a bag of ice or cool cloth on forehead, back of neck, groin, and under armpits. Do not use an alcohol pad.

 

HEATSTROKE

Very serious medical condition. The body fails at regulating its own temperature. It happens abruptly and is considered an emergency. You should call 911 and ask for an ambulance if you suspect heatstroke.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Absence of sweating
  • Hot, red and dry skin
  • Elevated temperature
  • Unconsciousness or unusual behaviors
  • Seizures 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

CALL 911
Place the person in cool, preferably air-conditioned area. Remove excess clothing. If the person is conscious and alert, offer sips of liquids. Sponge with cool water, or place in a cool bath if person conscious and someone remains with them. Place a bag of ice or cool cloth on forehead, back of neck, groin, and under armpits. Do not use an alcohol rub.

 – Source: Emedicine, Web MD

RELATED CONTENT:

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus