Heat Cramps (the mildest condition) can lead to Heat Exhaustion which can lead to Heat Stroke (which if severe can be a life threatening condition!).
Who is at risk:
- The very young less than 4 years old.
- Older adults more than 65 years old with chronic illnesses and/or on medications.
- Any person on certain medications or taking illicit drugs or drinking excess alcohol.
- Obese individuals.
- Those exposed to a sudden temperature change, “heat waves” or travel to a hot climate.
- High temperatures.
- High humidity.
- Strenuous activity.
- Alcohol consumption.
Signs and symptoms:
- Body temperature of 104 degrees F or higher–seek immediate medical attention! This is Heat Stroke!
- “Goose bumps” and cool moist skin even in the heat.
- Heavy sweating.
- Faintness, dizziness, nausea, headache and muscle cramps.
- Rapid pulse and low blood pressure.
- Stop all activity and rest in a cool place.
- Drink cool fluids.
- Apply cool water or mist to skin.
- Loosen or remove extra clothing.
- If you do not feel better within 60 minutes or your temperature reaches 104 degrees F, Seek Immediate Medical Attention!
- Wear loose, light weight, light colored clothing.
- Avoid getting sunburned with a hat and sunscreen.
- Seek cooler places and avoid strenuous activity or exercise in hot humid environments.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid hot spots, hot parked car or un-shaded areas. If new to a hot area try to acclimate before going out in the heat for long periods of time.
So make sure you plan ahead when leaving the house on a hot day and recognize when you might be starting to overheat and take action!