Record high temperatures are in the forecast all over the US this week . Thousands of people are effected by heat exhaustion each year leading to hospitalization and even death. What can you do to keep your family safe from the heat?
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke occurs when the body is exposed to hot temperatures for an extended period of time resulting in a rise of body temperature that is greater than 105.1 °F. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: profuse sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, lightheartedness, and muscle cramps. If left untreated it can lead to a seizure requiring immediate medical treatment.
There are several things that you can do to prevent heat exhaustion.
- Stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning use fans to circulate the air and open windows and doors.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids especially water. You can also use water to cool yourself. Fill bowls, basins or tubs with cool water and soak your feet. Use a cool wet washcloth to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid caffeinated beverages.
- Wear loose fitting clothing.
- Stay out of hot vehicles. Children, elderly adults, or disabled individuals left alone in a vehicle are at particular risk of succumbing to heat stroke, even with windows partially open. As these groups of individuals may not be able to express discomfort verbally (or audibly, inside a closed car), their plight may not be immediately noticed by others in the vicinity. A stuffed toy or other child’s toy is recommended for a parent or guardian to keep with himself or herself in the front seat as a reminder that at least one child is present. For larger groups, checking the van or bus for stragglers at the end of the trip is essential, complemented by other procedures such as a head count.
Pets are even more susceptible than humans to heat stroke in cars, as dogs (the animals usually involved), cats and many other animals cannot produce whole body sweat. Non-guide dogs are prohibited from being brought into many establishments, and opening a vehicle window sufficiently may present an escape opportunity or bite hazard. Leaving the pet at home with plenty of water on hot days is recommended instead, or, if a dog must be brought along, tied up outside the destination and provided with a full water bowl.
Stay cool and hydrated in the hot summer heat.
About This Author
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, manages Mom’s Natural Health and Wellness Store, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge.