Summer Health Tips: Preventing and Managing Heat Exhaustion [A Health Power Tip Sheet]

How sweet the summertime is for those of us who love the season. We get to enjoy various outdoor activities and events; experience the many joys of nature; and travel near and far to exchange love, and celebrate family reunions. We are providing special Summer Health Tips to prevent and manage experiences that interfere with summer fun. 

Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures during which a person either doesn’t drink enough fluids, or doesn’t replace enough of the fluid he or she loses because of the hot weather.  It is a milder than heat stroke, and people at increased risk of heat exhaustion include the elderly, those with hypertension (high blood pressure), people who are overweight, children under 4 years old,  and those who work or exercise in a hot environment.

 Warning signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • heavy sweating
  • paleness
  • muscle cramps
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fainting
  • cool and moist skin
  • fast and weak pulse rate, and
  • fast and shallow breathing

Important: If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which is much more serious.  Therefore, if heat exhaustion symptoms get worse or last more than one hour, immediate medical attention should be obtained.

Management of heat exhaustion requires cooling the body. Methods include:

  • drinking cool nonalcoholic beverages
  • taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
  • being in an air-conditioned environment
  • wearing lightweight clothing, and
  • resting

Remember our motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!

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