Summer is the time you are most vulnerable to injury from heat.
There are four major heat Health Hazards:
· Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping
· Heat Exhaustion: This condition is less dangerous than heat stroke. It usually occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, get the victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.
· Heat Stroke: This condition is also known as sunstroke, which can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. Relief for lowering body temperature can be with a cold bath or sponge.
· Sunburn: Redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches. Sunburn hampers heat dissipation. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases.
Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected. Others susceptible include:
· Persons with weight or alcohol problems are very susceptible to heat reactions.
· Persons on certain medications or drugs.
Monitor those at high risk.
· Infants and children up to four years of age are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures. They rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
· People who are 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently, and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature. People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
· Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications for conditions such as depression, insomnia or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
Safety Tip from the New York State Office Of Emergency Management