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Too Hot to Handle: Heat Safety 101

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Too Hot to Handle: Heat Safety 101

The best way to prevent heat-related illnesses is to learn what causes them and how to cool off if you overheat. Here are some heat safety tips you should know.

07/14/2020

Overheating can cause a variety of problems, ranging in severity from uncomfortable to life-threatening. The best way to prevent heat-related illnesses is to learn what causes them and take steps to cool off if you start to overheat. Here’s what you need to know:


Heat cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments.  [i]
 
Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle pain or spasms

 
Treatment:

  • Move to a cool place and take a break from physical activity.
  • Drink water or a sports drink to rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes.
  • Seek medical attention if cramps last longer than an hour.

 
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body becomes dehydrated and is unable to regulate its internal body temperature. [ii]
 
Symptoms:

  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting

 
Treatment: 

  • Move to a cool place.
  • Loosen clothing & apply cool cloths to skin.
  • Sip water.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms last for more than an hour or get worse.

 
Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature is 104ºF or higher. It can be a life-threatening medical emergency and if you experience any of the below symptoms, contact 911. [iii]
 
Symptoms: 

  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Confusion

 
Treatment:

  • Call 911 right away.
  • Do not give the person anything to drink.
  • Move to a cool place and apply cool cloths to the skin.

 
 

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