Surviving the Summer Heat

July 17, 2019

While many of us look forward to warm weather and the summer activities that come with it, extreme summer heat can be dangerous and a serious threat to your health, especially for older adults and children. Regardless of your age, make sure you understand these illnesses and follow these tips to ensure you have a great summer.

Heat Exhaustion

When someone is not able to produce enough sweat to cool the body, heat exhaustion can occur. This is usually the result of not drinking enough fluids during extreme heat while working, playing or exercising outside. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Sweaty skin
  • Blurry vision
  • High body temperature
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Difficulty speaking

If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, they should immediately be moved to a cool place to reduce body heat and drink plenty of water.

Heat Stroke

If heat exhaustion goes untreated, it can lead to heat stroke. Here are the symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Unawareness of heat and thirst
  • Rapidly Increasing body temperature
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Loss of consciousness

Heat stroke can be life threatening so medical professionals should be called immediately. While waiting on help, cool the person down with ice packs placed on the armpits, neck and groin. If still conscious and able to swallow, give the person fluids.

Tips to Stay Cool in Extreme Heat

  • Drink lots of water (even if you are not thirsty)
  • Where lightweight clothing
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Do outdoor activities like running errands and outdoor chores early or late in the day
  • Eat light
  • Take cooler showers
  • Enjoy indoor activities like shopping at an air-conditioned mall or going to a movie theater!

So, before you finish your yard work or run your 5-mile route, check the weather and be sure to prepare accordingly or enjoy the coolness of your home and wait out the heat. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe!