Protecting You and Your Family from Extreme Heat Uncategorized

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are relatively common during the hot summer months. Sadly, heat exposure is all too often fatal. A total of 7,415 deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2010 were associated with exposure to naturally-occurring extreme heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).1

Children and the Elderly Are Especially Vulnerable to Overheating

Children have unique physiology that makes them less able to regulate their body temperature compared with adults. The elderly do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature, and may have other variables that make them more susceptible, including an increased likelihood of taking prescription medications that impair their bodies’ ability to regulate their temperatures.2

It’s important to protect yourself and your loved ones from the heat during the hot summer months, and to understand the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can occur after prolonged exposure to heat. Symptoms include: 

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Fast, shallow breathing

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a very serious form of heat-related illness, occurring when the body is unable to properly cool itself down. When someone is suffering from heat stroke, their body temperature rises rapidly and their body loses its ability to sweat. This can lead to a body temperature rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher within 10-15 minutes. The signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Strong, rapid pulse
  • Red, hot, dry skin

Protecting You and Your Loved Ones

The following prevention tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe during the hot months:

  • Avoid strenuous activities, and rest as much as possible
  • Whenever possible, seek out an air-conditioned environment. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, spend some time at your local library or local indoor shopping mall.
  • Remain inside during the heat of the day where possible
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • Keep a wet washcloth or towel around your neck and on your forehead
  • Wear lightweight clothing

Protect yourself from the heat in the hot months, and make sure you have California health insurance in case you need to visit the doctor for heat-related illness.