Tips on Protecting Your Family From Heat Exhaustion

Posted on June 12, 2013

It’s getting warm throughout the country, and California citizens have to be ready to protect themselves and their families from the threat of excessive heat.  High temperatures can take their toll, and you might find yourself facing exhaustion without even realizing it.  Thus, you might consider some of the valuable safety tips provided in a new report out of Dallas.

First, you should understand the threat of heat exhaustion.  Older persons and kids younger than four are particularly at risk, as are those who work outside while taking part in strenuous activities for extended periods of time.  And although we tend to look at exercise as something that will always benefit our health, too much exercise in the midst of temperatures in the 90s and 100s can be dangerous.

There are also certain circumstances that are more dangerous than others.  A dry heat, for instance, is preferable to excessive humidity, as the latter impairs the body’s ability to cool itself by sweating.  Areas without shade are also more hazardous, as there’s scant respite from the heat when you can’t even get away from the sun’s most high-intensity rays.

If you, your children, or a companion ever feel that the heat is getting the best of you, then know the signs to look out for.  Someone suffering for heat exhaustion can exhibit signs of confusion, a heightened pulse rate, intense sweating, and an ashen pallor you’d expect of someone suffering from the flu.  Indeed, the individual might also complain of cramps, nausea, fatigue, and a headache.

When these signs appear, you should go into action immediately to offset the threat.  If possible, take the person out of the heat to an air conditioned space or at least put them in the shade.  Get them cool water if available, but refrain from sports drinks if you can because the sugar inside might exacerbate the danger.  Apply ice to the skin, or else take some of the water and apply that.

The best way to mitigate the risk is to take the proper steps long before heat exhaustion can set in.  If you know you’re going to be outdoors in the heat for any period of time, prepare yourself by applying sunscreen and then keeping it on hand during your journey.  Have clothing on that won’t trap in heat and have plenty of water and other fluids on hand so that you can constantly replenish your energy.  Head inside whenever possible to catch your breath, and if you’re responsible for putting together some type of outdoor function, consider alerting local medical personnel so that they can react immediately if someone suffers from heatstroke, a more serious condition than exhaustion.

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