Heat Can Cause Trouble If Not Taken Seriously

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The blazing temperatures could spell trouble if you don’t hydrate and plan accordingly.

“You have to be really careful with this heat because it can come up on you before you really know it,” said Sharon Rengers, the manager of the Injury Prevention Team at Norton Children’s Prevention and Wellness.

The temperatures could mean you could be vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.

Children are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses. They generate more heat for their body size than adults. Children also sweat less, which is the body’s way of cooling itself.

Dehydration

One of the most common heat illnesses is dehydration. This occurs when the amount of fluid the body loses, usually due to seating is greater than the amount taken in. If not treated right away, your body stops working normally.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Dizziness and/or headache
  • Decreased or darker urine
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

Untreated dehydration and exposure to high temperatures can quickly turn into heat exhaustion, which includes the following symptoms:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Dizziness and/or headache
  • Decreased or darker urine
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fainting

If you or someone around you is experiencing the symptoms, drink or provide plenty of cool fluids, remove tight or unnecessary clothing, and use fans, iced or wet towels, a water hose, or any other cooling measures.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

  • Behavioral changes
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lack of sweating

Heatstroke is a medical emergency and can cause loss of consciousness; damage to the heart, brain, and kidneys; and even death. If you are around someone with heatstroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. While you’re eating for EMS to arrive, move the person to the shade or a cool building, and help cool the body with fans, iced or wet towels, or a water hose.