How to spot heat-related illnesses

WASHINGTON – With temperatures heading into unbearable ranges, you don’t want to end up sick because of the heat.

Here are some tips to stay cool in the heat:

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing;
  • Wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun;
  • Use sunscreen;
  • Drink lots of water. Remember that caffeinated beverages can increase the rate of water loss in your body, increasing your risk of heat exhaustion or stroke;
  • Hang out in the air conditioning or shade;
  • Don’t leave children or pets in the car.

Too much time in the hot weather can make you sick. Here’s some advice from the American Red Cross:

Signs of Heat Exhaustion

  • Normal body temperature;
  • May have cool, moist, pale or flushed skin;
  • Heavy sweating;
  • Headache;
  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Dizziness;
  • Exhaustion.

What to do about heat exhaustion:

  • Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths.
  • Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Body temperature as high as 105 degrees;
  • Skin that’s red and hot;
  • Changes in consciousness;
  • Rapid, weak pulse;
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.

What to do about heat stroke:

  • Help is needed fast.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body.
  • Watch for signals of breathing problems.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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