Although school starting may make it seem like fall, September still offers the chance for excessive heat warnings. HSHS Holy Family Hospital wants the community to stay safe by providing tips for staying cool and how to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke, which requires medical attention.
Dr. Jamie Baum, emergency department physician at Holy Family Hospital, said, “Strenuous activity in hot weather or prolonged exposure to a hot environment are often the causes of heat stroke. Both lead to a rise in core body temperature which becomes dangerous at 103 degrees or higher.”
Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency. If a person exhibits symptoms of a heat stroke, call 911 right away. Symptoms include:
High body temperature (103 degrees or higher)
Hot, red, dry or damp skin
Fast, strong pulse
Move the person to a cooler place after calling 911. You can also help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath. It is not recommended that the person is given anything to drink.
“Heat exhaustion is also common during a heat wave. Symptoms include heavy sweating, fast but weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, headache and passing out,” added Dr. Baum If you or others experience these symptoms, it is recommended to move to a cool place, sip water, loosen your clothes and put cool, wet cloths on your body to cool down. Dr. Baum said, “Seek medical help right away if you or someone else is vomiting, symptoms get worse or the symptoms last longer than one hour. HSHS Holy Family Hospital is here for those experiencing heat-related illnesses or any other health issues.”
Heat-related illnesses are preventable. They recommend that people stay cool and stay hydrated. Some tips to stay cool and hydrated include:
Wear appropriate clothing
Stay cool indoors
Don’t be outside if you don’t have to be
If you must be outdoors, pace yourself and take breaks
Avoid hot and heavy meals
Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity
Don’t wait to drink water until you’re thirsty
Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks
Certain people are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. This includes infants and young children, people 65 and older, people who are overweight, and people who are physically ill. If a person experiences a heat-related illness, it is common for them to lose consciousness. If you know someone in any of these categories, make sure to check on them at least twice a day during a heat wave.
For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html or https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html.