An overheated body can lead to many dangerous symptoms. As we hit the peak of the summer heat here in Mississippi, it’s important to make sure your son or daughter is educated on the various heat-related illnesses and how to recognize them. Our friends at Ole Town Med have the best tips to prevent these heat conditions and how to cool down quickly if they happen to you or someone you know.
The first condition to be mindful of is a heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include a body temperature of 103°F or higher, fast pulse, red skin, headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion. It’s also not uncommon to lose consciousness and pass out. If you or someone you know experience these symptoms, call 911 right away; heat stroke is a medical emergency! While waiting for emergency services to arrive, you can help lower the person’s body temperature by moving them into a cooler place such as the shade or air conditioning if close by. You can also give them a cool bath or wipe their body with cool cloths. Do not give the person anything to drink if they are not fully alert!
Heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms include heavy sweating, clammy skin, weak pulse, muscle cramps, nausea and tiredness. Similar to a heat stroke, a person suffering from heat exhaustion may experience dizziness and faint. If you witness someone with these symptoms, move them to a cool place and loosen any tight clothing they may be wearing. They should sip water if they’re fully conscious. Seek medical help immediately if the person vomits or if symptoms get worse and last longer than an hour.
Heat cramps are muscle spasms that result from loss of large amount of salt and water through exercise. If you notice muscle pain or spasms and heavy sweating during intense exercise, stop physical activity and move to a cool place. Drink water or a sports drink to hydrate your body and feed it electrolytes. Wait for the cramps to go away before returning to any physical activity. You should get medical help right away if cramps last longer than an hour, you’re on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems.
A heat rash is red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin. They usually appear on the neck, chest, groin or in elbow creases. If you think you may be developing a heat rash, stay in a cool place and keep the rash dry. You may use powder, such as baby powder, to soothe the rash.
The last heat-related illness is sunburn, a condition that many of us have unfortunately experienced. Look out for painful, red and warm skin or blisters on the skin. If you have sunburn, stay out of the sun until it heals and apply moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas. If your sunburn develops blisters on the skin, do not break them!
To protect yourself from these conditions, make sure to wear lightweight clothing, regularly apply sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids.
Recognizing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and knowing what steps to take is important for your safety and the safety of others. If you have any further questions about these
conditions, please reach out to the professionals at Ole Town Med or stop in to their office, located on West Jackson Avenue!