Summer. It’s hot. Very hot. In allot of areas temperatures are in the low to high 90’s and above, what does this mean, people get sick, people can die.
Heat Exhaustion is the most common thing we see, it can be over exposure to heat sources even ones other than the Sun. Heat Exhaustion is the easiest to catch, and easiest to adjust from. Fatigue, headache, extreme thirst, feeling light headed, are all signs time to make some changes.
- Try to get out of the source of heat, whether trying to seek shade under a tree, or inside a tent, get out of the rays of the sun. If you do not have an area to find shade from, an umbrella, anything you can think of to take some of the direct heat and rays out of the equation is a good thing.
- Drink Water!! Seems obvious huh? But why I say it like this, is that while pop, coffee, beer etc. are all forms of liquid, they are not the best way to re-hydrate, and can actually make things worse. Caffeine is a stimulant, will make your heart beat faster causing more work on the body than needed, Alcohol is a diuretic, and will cause you to expel liquids very quickly, leading to deeper levels of problems if you start to get sick.
- Take breaks, if you are outside in the yard, and you feel like you need a break, listen to your body! Get out of the heat, drink some water, take some deep breaths, then get back to what you were doing.
Now for the extreme side, Heat Stroke. Very bad news, body is at limit of trying to cool you down, unable to sweat anymore, the mouth, nose and skin is dry and skin is hot to touch. Signs of Sunburn may be present on body and skin may be red in color. Person will be disoriented, possibly unconscious or unable to speak, call 911!! if you think the worst, let someone else prove otherwise, better to see it be nothing, that losing them.
- So if you have someone that goes unconscious, looks like they are going to pass out, can’t speak coherently call 911!!
- Next as best you can, get them out of the source of the heat, shaded trees, umbrellas, anything to take some of the heat out of the equation.
Age is everything sometimes, younger children who depend on their respiratory system need to be monitored to make sure they are not at risk for too much heat exposure. The elderly as well, as we age our defense mechanisms are slower to react, or don’t react at all, in these cases, ensuring family members have some sort of cooling device, fans or air conditioning is very important. Also, remember when we have power outages due to heat, we must insure that we attend to the elderly family and the young ones in our lives, as if they are left alone, they may not have the resources to deal with the heat.
So remember, if its hot,and the person is not responding normally or not at all, call 911!
Try to stay cool somewhat everyone, or at least as best as you can!
A Medic’s World