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Protect Yourself from Heat Related Illnesses

Summer comes with high temperatures, and though usually high temperatures mean fun things such as ice cream cones and days spent at the pool, it is important to be aware of some of the dangers associated with heat in order to be prepared and protect yourself and family.

Some of the dangers of heat include:

Heat Rash

Heat rash is typically found in areas that are covered by clothing.  According to WebMD, Some symptoms include:

Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
Red streaks extending from the affected area.
Drainage of pus from the area.
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
Fever of 100.4 °F (38 °C) or higher, or chills with no other known cause.

Heat rash will usually go away on its own, but it is a good idea to loosen clothing and avoid lotions and cream that can bother it

Heat Exhaustion

According to MayoClinic, here are the symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
Heavy sweating
Weak, rapid pulse
Low blood pressure upon standing
Muscle cramps

Heat exhaustion can happen suddenly, or gradually over long periods of time.  It is important to be aware of symptoms, especially if exercising in hot temperatures.  Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

This is the most serious of illnesses associate with heat.  It is important to treat heatstroke right away to avoid further complications, or even death.  MayoClinic lists the following symptoms:

High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.

Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.

Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.

Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.

Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.

Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.

Headache. Your head may throb.

As you can see, as the temperatures get higher, it is important to protect yourself.  Make sure to stay in air conditioned areas whenever possible, and to be on the lookout for any of these warning signs.

For more information check out these articles from MayoClinic: Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion, and from WedMd: Heat Rash, where all of this information came from.

If you would like to learn about ways to stay cool and protect yourself from these problems, contact FLAME!

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