Keeping Heat-Related Illnesses in Mind During the Harsh Heat of Summer

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As the extreme late July heat relentlessly continues, it’s important to know how to avoid heat-related illnesses.

The harsh heat of summer is capable of triggering illnesses such as heat strokes, exhaustion, cramps, rashes, and sunburns. The best ways to prevent these illnesses is to stay hydrated, wear lose and light-colored clothing, and take frequent breaks if you are working out in the heat.

“You start thinking about heat safety when you hear the temperature will be over 80 degrees. As the humidity rises, you’re less able to cool yourself off because when we exert ourselves, we sweat. Sweating is the evaporation of moisture from your skin which cools your skin. When the atmosphere is full of humidity, that sweat cannot evaporate very easily. Consequently, you don’t cool easily, and your body can overheat.” Jack Butterfield, the Muskingum County Health Department Medical Director said.

Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can come with symptoms like dizziness, headaches, nausea, or even fainting. Dr. Butterfield explains what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness.

“The first thing is to get to a cool place. Even if it means just getting into the shade. Cool the body down. Remove access clothing, use cool towels to allow the moisture to evaporate and carry away from their body some of that heat.” Dr. Butterfield stated.

If you suspect you, or somebody you know is having a heat stroke, call 911 and cool yourself or the person down while you’re waiting for 911 to respond.
For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit the CDC website.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness | Natural Disasters and Severe Weather | CDC

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