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3 Health Risks of Summer Heat

3 Health Risks of Summer Heat

Your body is constantly generating heat. Usually, this is not a problem as your body also keeps cool by regulating the temperature through sweat. But in the summer the heat can rise to such a level that the air is actually hotter than your body, and this natural cooling technique begins to fail. Your body struggles to get rid of heat, which results in overheating and heat-related illnesses. What are the dangers of summertime heat? How can you prevent heat-related illness from occurring?

Dangers of Extreme Heat

  • Heat Cramps – Muscle spasms in your legs and abdomen that occur when you have been exercising or walking in the extreme heat. The problems occur when you sweat excessively and lose salts and minerals, which results in an imbalance.

What You Can Do – Rest in a cool place and gently massage the muscles. Drink a sports drink that contains sugar and salt.

  • Heat Exhaustion – Heat exhaustion produces symptoms like increased thirst, muscle cramps, headache, sweating, weakness, and cool or clammy skin. Your body temperature is high but not extremely high. You may also suffer from fatigue or irritability.

What You Can Do – Rest in a cool location. Cool the skin by applying water-soaked cloths or a cold compress. Drink cool drinks.

  • Heatstroke – A dangerous condition resulting in headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, hot and dry skin, rapid heart rate, fast breathing, and loss of consciousness.

What You Can Do – Call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke and their body temperature is dangerously high. While waiting for medics, move to a cool location and try to bring the temperature down with cool cloths. Don’t give any fluids.

Heat-Related Illness Prevention

Follow these simple tips to avoid heat problems this summer:

  • Always drink plenty of water in the summer, even when you do not feel thirsty. Try not to consume too much caffeine or alcoholic drinks.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat in the sun.
  • Avoid heavy activity and exercise in the sun at the hottest part of the day. Schedule errands and tasks for later in the day when it is cooler.
  • If you start to feel unwell, go to a cooler location to rest. Seek medical attention if you are vomiting or your temperature is extremely high.

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