With our Houston summer here in full effect, let’s review how to beat the heat!
It is important to note that there is a spectrum of heat related illness. We will go over the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do.
Heat rash or “prickly rash” can appear as small pinpoint bumps at the entrance of sweat glands. The rash can appear as red or pink patches of skin that can develop into large welts. Watch for this rash because it blocks the sweat gland the person may develop heat exhaustion. Get to a cool area and keep these areas dry.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the person’s ability to cool itself has been overwhelmed. Watch for these signs and symptoms
- Profuse sweating
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Heat Stroke is a medical emergency. This occurs when the body’s core temperature is over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually this occurs with prolonged exposure to high heat accompanied by dehydration and changes to the central nervous system.
Watch for these signs and symptoms and go to your nearest Emergency Room or call 911.
- Confusion or altered mental state
- Throbbing headache
- Lack of sweating despite heat
- Rapid shallow breathing
What to do:
- Get to a cool area immediately! Preferably air conditioned. Fanning is helpful.
- Keep yourself hydrated if you can tolerate oral liquids. Avoid sugary drinks, particularly pay attention to the sugar content in sport drinks as these may cause more dehydration. I prefer Pedialyte because of the electrolyte content.
- Oral hydration is key however if you are unable to keep anything down contact a health professional. With heat exhaustion, intravenous hydration maybe necessary to bring your core temperature down.
The overlying theme here is to watch your exposure to heat and stay hydrated. It’s easy to lose track of ourselves in the summer heat so be sure to watch for these signs and symptoms. Be safe everybody!