Whether you are a construction worker, welder, or enjoying outdoor activities, it is extremely important to take care of yourself. It is best to ward off heat stroke or exhaustion before you even walk outdoors. You do not know how scary it is to experience these situations until it HAPPENS. These heat-related incidents can cause permanent damage!
So, what damage they may cause you to ask? Heatstroke can cause swelling and permanent damage to your vital organs such as: Heart, brain, kidneys, liver, and bowels. Heatstroke is serious and can lead to coma or death if left untreated. Symptoms of heatstroke are:
- High body temperature.
- Confusion, dizziness, slurred speech.
- You have stopped sweating, but your skin is hot.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Rapid breathing.
- Headache or head pressure.
- Reddening of your face and skin.
Heat exhaustion is similar to heat stroke, it will not cause life-threatening harm unless you allow it to turn into heatstroke. Do not be fooled though, heat exhaustion is still indeed serious. Do not waste your time trying to distinguish whether you are experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion will cause the same symptoms besides serious effects such as coma, death, or organ damage. I will also note a good indication to tell if it is in fact heat exhaustion you will have excessive sweating.
What can you do to combat getting heatstroke or heat exhaustion? Be extremely cautious on hot and humid days. Humidity makes it a lot harder for the body to cool itself. This is due to sweat not being able to evaporate quickly and cool you like usual. Try not to be out in the sun in the peak heat hours, if you cannot avoid it, wear sunscreen. Getting a sunburn makes it harder for the body to cool down! If you are in a building without air conditioning, try to open a few windows to allow air to circulate. My husband invested in a fan for work and keeps it near!
You should wear loose and light-colored clothing. This will help you stay cool as you work or do outdoor activities. We had bought my husband “cooling towels” and bandanas on Amazon. He uses them every day and it helps him so much!
Take frequent breaks (in the shade at least) and drink plenty of water or opt for an electrolyte drink occasionally. According to the CDC, you should drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes or three-fourths of 1 quart every hour. If you have a snack break opt for something nutritious or salty…like a pickle! Avoid foods high in sugar, it can cause your blood sugar to spike and then dramatically fall, thus, contributing to feeling ill.
Try to incorporate a multivitamin into the mix. The more balanced you are the better you are going to handle situations! Being deficit in vitamins can cause a variety of illnesses. Have you revised your medical history lately? Doing so can help you learn if any illnesses you have or medications you take can cause heat sensitivity. Talk to your doctor for the best advice for you!
Comment what has helped you combat the heat! I would love to hear from you!