As we get into the summer months, it is time to remind everyone of the issues that can be experienced due to higher temperatures and humidity. Excessive heat exposure while working, exercising, or enjoying the outdoors, can bring about a variety of heat-induced disorders, including:
Heat Rashes: A common problem resulting from persistent wetting of clothing by unevaporated sweat. To reduce risk, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Heat Cramps: Painful spasms of the muscles that occur among those who sweat profusely in heat, drink large quantities of water, but do not adequately replace the body’s salt loss.
Heat Exhaustion: Includes several clinical disorders having symptoms which may resemble the early symptoms of heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is caused by the loss of large amounts of fluid by sweating, sometimes with excessive loss of salt.
Heat Stroke: The most serious health problem associated with working in hot environments. It occurs when the body’s temperature regulatory system fails, and sweating becomes inadequate. The body’s only effective means of removing excess heat is compromised with little warning to the victim that a crisis stage has been reached.
Any person with signs or symptoms of heat stroke requires immediate medical attention.
- Call 911
- Move the victim to a cool area, thoroughly soak their clothing with water, and vigorously fan their body to increase cooling until medical help arrives
Early recognition and treatment of heat related illness is an important aspect of preventing further or permanent health damage or death.