Beat The Summer Heat
What is Heat Exhaustion?
After being exposed to high temperatures, many people become dehydrated. During the summer it is important to drink plenty of water to prevent this issue. Some people are affected more seriously by the heat, and experience what is known as heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is a condition or illness which is directly tied to being exposed to high temperatures, and is caused by water and/or salt depletion in the body.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
- Rapid Heartbeat
If you are experiencing these symptoms it is imperative to remove yourself from the heat. It is recommended that you rest in a cool, air-conditioned place. If this is not possible find a cool place to sit in the shade.
- Remove unnecessary clothing so that your body begins to cool.
- Drink plenty of water. If you are experiencing heat exhaustion due to salt depletion a sports drink with electrolytes can help.
- Use a cooling method such as applying cool washcloths, taking a cool bath/shower, or using a fan.
Once a person has experienced heat exhaustion, they are more likely to have heat sensitivity, especially during the first week after recovery. It is suggested that heavy exercise and hot weather is avoided during the first week after the heat exhaustion episode, and then it should be safe to return to your regular activities.
If you are unable to cool your body within 15 minutes of experiencing heat exhaustion that you seek medical attention to prevent the occurrence of a heat stroke.
The heat index is a way to measure relative humidity and air temperature combined, and how hot it will then make a person feel. When the relative humidity reaches 60% or higher it interferes with the body’s ability to cool itself because it hinders sweat evaporation. Being mindful of the heat index can help a person measure the risk of experiencing heat exhaustion.