Everyone is vulnerable to heat-related illnesses when their bodies are unable to properly cool themselves. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly and may damage the brain and or other vital organs.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature and is unable to cool down. With the potential for body temperature to rise to105 degrees or higher, individuals may begin to exhibit symptoms such as red dry skin, disorientation, delirium, and nausea.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several hours of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness and/or headaches.
Children, the elderly and those that suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness because they are unable to adjust to sudden changes in temperatures.
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Do not leave children, infants or pets in cars any length of time, even if the windows are cracked. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at the greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Limit heavy exertion when high levels of heat and humidity are present and avoid the hottest period of the day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
-Avoid the heat
-Drink plenty of water
-Adjust schedule to start earlier if you work outdoors (if possible)
Wear light colored clothing, a hat and sunscreen
Drink plenty of water
Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade
-Check on relatives and friends, especially the elderly
-Increase time spent in air-conditioned environments like libraries, malls, and movie theaters.
-Community centers in Prince George’s County are also open to the public as cooling centers.
-Eat smaller meals, more often
-Take cool baths
-Make sure pets have access to water and shade
For more information about heat-related illness visit http://www.cdc.gov or http://dhmh.maryland.gov/extremeheat