heat beat the
hot weather is here. when you are outside, extreme heat is not only uncomfortable…it can kill
Every year, thousands become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. These illnesses and deaths are preventable. Anyone exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or wearing heavy protective clothing. Some are at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions.
1/4 Page What is heat illness?
The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn’t enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms may include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst, and heavy sweating. Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attention.
To prevent heat illness, remember three simple words: water, rest, shade. Drinking water often, taking breaks, and limiting time in the heat can help prevent the condition. Employers should include these steps in worksite training and plans. Gradually build up to heavy work in hot conditions. The same goes for exercise and athletics; make sure you gradually prepare for it. This helps you build up tolerance to the heat – or become acclimated. If you have an outdoor job, gradually increase your workload and allow more frequent breaks. Also, it’s important to know and look out for the symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others during hot weather. Plan for an emergency and know what to do — acting quickly can save lives!
Beat The Heat: Three Simple Steps
Water: Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. A good rule of thumb is to drink 4 cups of water every hour. It is best to drink a small amount of water every 15 minutes
Rest: Rest breaks help your body recover.
Shade: Resting in the shade or in air-conditioning helps you cool down.
4 | TALK ABOUT HEALTHY ROCHESTER | AUGUST 2012 Become a fan!
Other steps you can take to prevent illness from the heat:
• If you suspect that you or someone else has symptoms of heat illness, tell someone right away.
• When outside in the heat, wear light-colored cotton clothing.
• Wear a hat. • Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
If someone is stricken with heat illness these simple steps could save a person’s life: • Move the person to a cool, shady area. • Call 911. • Loosen the person’s clothing. • Fan air on the person. • Apply cool water or ice packs to his or her skin.
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