What is heat illness? Basically, it’s what happens to the body when it can no longer cool itself down. Our bodies normally cool down by sweating and by elevating blood flow to the skin. When this no longer occurs, heat induced illnesses such as heat exhaustion, or even worse, heat stroke may occur.
High temperature and humidity, direct sun or heat, limited air movement, physical exertion, poor physical condition, medicines and inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces are some factors that can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
The following is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Heavy sweating
• Extreme weakness or fatigue
• Clammy, moist skin
• Pale or flushed complexion
• Muscle cramps
• Slightly elevated body temperature
• Fast and shallow breathing
First aid for heat exhaustion:
• Rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.
• Drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
• Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
• Throbbing headache
• High body temperature
• Slurred speech
First aid for heat stroke:
• Call 911.
• Move to a cool shaded area.
• Cool using methods such as:
* Soaking clothes with water.
* Spraying, sponging or showering with water.
* Fanning the body.
What can you do to prevent a heat related illness?
* Drink plenty of water. You want to drink cool, not cold, water or else stomach cramps could occur.
- Drink a sport beverage to replenish lost electrolytes
- When working or playing outdoors in the summer sun, wear a wide brimmed hat (preferably one that shades your ears and neck) and don’t forget the sunscreen
- Take a break when you’re heating up. Take a few minutes to sit down, unwind and cool off. This will go a long way when there’s a lot to do on a hot summer day.
- Do not overeat. Eat right and eat light. Do not eat heavy, hot meals in hot weather.
- Because of the heat and the high humidity in Florida, we should observe the 80-80 rule. When it’s 80° Fahrenheit or above along with 80% or greater humidity, you must be careful and avoid heat exhaustion.
- Be sure to work safe and play safe this summer and don’t forget the old saying:
- If the face is red, raise the head (heat stroke).
- If the face is pale, raise the tail (legs) (heat exhaustion)!
About the Author; Daniel D.Dye II is a 40 year veteran in the pest control industry and an Associate certified entomologist. His passion for pest control and his expertise has him highly sought after for teaching and sharing his experience and knowledge. Daniel is also an expert in herpetology, spiders and photography. his work can be seen by following these links. Florida back yard snakes , Florida back yard spiders