• By Dana Sparks

Safety Reminders: Heat Wave, Heatstroke and Hydration

August 27, 2013

                                                                                                                   (video courtesy: WBBH-TV)

On bright summer days we may remember to apply the sunscreen, but we may not remember to give the heat the full respect it deserves. When temperatures soar, Mayo Clinic experts say we need to take precautions. We also need to be on guard for the warning signs of overheating. Family medicine physician Jennifer Nordstrom, M.D., at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisc., says heat illness can range in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to a potentially life-threatening heatstroke. She says certain individuals are at higher risk in the heat.

Journalists: Beach b-roll is available in the downloads. Please courtesy WBBH-TV.

What puts you at higher risk?

  • Diabetes, asthma or heart disease
  • Being elderly or very young
  • Being overweight or in poor physical condition
  • Recently been ill with a fever
  • Having had heat illness before
  • Hard chargers who ignore the warning signs

Preventative measures 

  • Avoid strenuous activities when the heat index is above above 105 degrees or the dew point is above 70
  • Drink 8 to 16 ounces of water an hour before beginning a workout
  • Maintain fluid intake before thirst begins
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day
  • Wear loose clothing to allow for circulation

Symptoms of Heatstroke

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lack of sweating
  • Confusion
  • Fainting/loss of consciousness
  • Unusually high or low blood pressure

 

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