You don’t have to be in the Arizona desert to experience a heat wave. Many areas of the country are still experiencing record high temperatures.
With the lack of summer rain it is quickly becoming one of the hottest summers in history. This means that more people will be suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke than ever before. Your patients may come in feeling ill without realizing it is due to the heat and professionals who are used to pushing themselves for their patients may inadvertently overdue their efforts and make themselves ill.
In a heat wave you may feel that the only way to stay cool is to be inside, in air conditioning. But incorporating the following into your day can help you remain cool.
- Clothing – Wear loose, light colored, and lightweight clothing to increase air circulation and allow sweat to easily evaporate.
- Sunscreen – Apply every morning. A sunburn makes you feel hotter and makes it more difficult for your body to let go of heat.
- Water – Drink more water/ You must be well hydrated to sweat, which helps your body cool off naturally.
- Ventilation – If you are going to be in an outdoor area use fans to circulate the air, which can make it easier for your body to maintain the correct body temperature.
Heat exhaustion can occur suddenly or may result after days of exposure to high temperatures.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- Heavy sweating
- Low blood pressure after standing
- Moist skin that is cool to the touch even in the heat
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid pulse
- Weak pulse
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Body temperature of 104 F or greater
- Hot, dry skin if condition brought on by climate
- Hot, moist skin if condition brought on by physical exertion
- Flushed skin as temperature rises
- Rapid shallow breathing
- Strong pulse and racing heart
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty understanding others
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness