Whether you’re working outside in the oilfields or in your family backyard, it’s summertime again and, to quote the Glenn Frey song from the movie Beverly Hills Cop
, "The Heat is On!" That’s why we think that it’s extremely important to again remind everyone just how dangerous heat illnesses can be and how you can recognize and prevent heat related incidents.
As we all know, the human body primarily cools itself by sweating and having that sweat evaporate. If sweating is not sufficient to meet the body’s cooling needs, heat-related illness can occur. This group of disorders covers a variety of conditions with minor symptoms, such as prickly heat or heat rash, progressing to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and, finally, to heat stroke…a serious, life threatening condition.
It’s vitally important to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke whenever working in a hot environment, whether indoors or outside. With heat exhaustion, individuals tend to have symptoms such as profuse sweating, weakness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms occur, find a cool place to rest and maintain proper hydration with water, electrolyte solutions, or sports drinks. If vomiting or nausea prevents rehydration, seek medical attention immediately.
By comparison, heat stroke is a very serious progression beyond heat exhaustion. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion in addition to a distinct absence of sweating, confusion, disorientation or staggering, seizures, and fainting. If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 or immediately transport the person to a hospital or aid facility. Heat stroke can be fatal. To properly treat the symptoms of heat stroke, refer to the very informative article found at WebMD by clicking here
As always, remember that your health and safety is of paramount importance! Stay cool…and be safe!!
"The thing with heat is, no matter how cold you are, no matter how
much you need warmth, it always, eventually, becomes too much."
~ Victoria Aveyard, American Writer