Beat the Heat – Heat Safety Awareness Day
As the weather starts to heat up, there’s a lot to look forward to – laying out by the pool, trips to the beach, walks in the park. But as the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat-related health problems. From heat cramps to heat stroke, what was a fun activity when the weather was cool can become dangerous without the right precautions and care. May 22 is Heat Safety Awareness Day, and at LeBauer HealthCare, our Primary Care team is working to make sure you’re informed on the dangers of heat, and how you can stay healthy this summer.
The Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness
The human body is capable of amazing things, but sometimes excessive heat is all it takes to send your system beyond what it can handle. Known as hyperthermia, a high body temperature can be the result of external heat gain, or the body’s inability to effectively transfer heat. With symptoms ranging from discomfort and itching to difficulty breathing, and even unconsciousness, it’s important to understand the warning signs and risks of heat-related illnesses as the temperatures rise.
- Heat Rash: Heat rash is caused by sweat ducts either being blocked or swelling. This limits the body’s ability to properly cool itself in a localized area, resulting in redness and swelling.
- Heat Cramps: Heat cramps occur after exercise as a result of muscles losing water, salt, and minerals through sweat.
- Heat Syncope: Heat syncope refers to when a person faints suddenly as a result of low blood pressure. Heat can cause blood vessels to dilate, causing blood to pool in the legs, leading to a drop in blood pressure.
- Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is the result of the body being unable to sweat enough to properly cool itself. It often develops as a result of exercising or working in a hot environment without drinking enough fluids. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches; the skin will also become cool, pale, and moist.
- Heatstroke: Heatstroke is caused when the body is unable to effectively regulate its own temperature, and body temperature continues to increase. Symptoms of heatstroke include unconsciousness, confusion, rapid heart rate, seizure, difficulty breathing, and skin that is red, hot, and dry.
Tips to Stay Healthy in the Heat
As the weather heats up, here are a few tips to help you and your family stay safe:
- Watch the forecast: Be aware of what to expect and how to prepare. With higher heat and humidity comes higher risk.
- Be prepared: When the temperature is high, be sure to dress appropriately and carry a water bottle.
- Don’t overdo it: When exercising or working in the heat, take frequent breaks to rest and cool down.
- Car safety: Even with temperatures in the 70s, a car can quickly become dangerous for children, pets, and even adults. Never leave your child unattended in a car, even with the windows rolled down.
Visit Us Today
Whether you’re suffering a heat-related illness, or simply need a check-up to stay healthy this summer, LeBauer Primary Care can make sure you are taken care of. Find a LeBauer HealthCare office near you to schedule an appointment, or give us a call at 336-547-1792. We look forward to speaking with you.