As temperatures rise, protect yourself from heat-related illnesses

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Summer-like conditions are in the forecast. As temperatures get warmer, remember that heat-related illnesses are possible if you don’t take certain precautions.

To prevent heat-related illnesses, you should follow these tips when it’s hot outside:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Limit time outdoors.
  • Take breaks if you’re working outside.
  • Limit vigorous activity, like exercising, to cooler times of the day (like morning or evening hours).
  • Know the signs of heat-related illnesses
Courtesy: National Weather Service

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Decreased urine output

If a person is suffering from heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place and have them sip on water. Try to cool them down with a cool bath or with cool cloths. Call 911 if the person is throwing up, if their symptoms worsen, or if their symptoms last longer than one hour.

Heat stroke is considered the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. When heat stroke occurs, the body’s temperature can reach 103° or higher. This can cause permanent damage or death if the person does not receive medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature of 103° or higher
  • No sweating
  • Strong, rapid pulse
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness/passing out

If you think someone is suffering from a heat stroke, call 911 right away. Move the person to a cooler place and try to cool their body temperature down with a cool bath or cool towels. DO NOT give the person anything to drink.

Heat cramp usually impacts outdoor workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. Symptoms of heat cramps include muscle cramps, pair, or spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen. Those who suffer from heat cramps are advised to drink plenty of water and have a snack and/or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat rash is caused excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. This can cause red clusters of pimples or small blisters to appear on a person’s skin. The rash usually develops on a person’s upper chest, neck, and in creases. I f you’re dealing with a heat rash, you’ll want to keep the area dry. Powder may help to increase comfort. Ointments and creams should not be used.

If you’re traveling, always remember to never leave children, elderly, or pets unattended in a car. It can get dangerously hot inside of a car, even if the windows are cracked. Always look in the back seat of your car before you lock it.

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