Excessive heat can be cause for serious concern.

Summers can get hot, and most summers will see heat waves at one time or another. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity.

Did you know that…

  • Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States
  • People living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas
  • Those most susceptible to heat stroke are the elderly, small children, and those with weight and alcohol problems.

Heat Cramps

  • Symptoms include painful muscle cramps and spasms, typically in the abdomen or legs.
  • Heat cramps are typically an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Get the affected person to a cool place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. You can lightly stretch the cramping muscles by applying firm pressure or gently massaging them. Also give them sips of water, or electrolyte-containing fluid.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, pale, clammy or flushed skin, nausea, weakness, dizziness, headache and a fast, weak pulse.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Loosen or remove clothing where possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Give small amounts of a cool liquid to drink, approximately 4 ounces every 15 minutes.

Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually follows after ignoring the signs of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning.
  • Symptoms include extremely high body temperature, red skin, changes in consciousness, rapid, shallow breathing, confusion and seizures.
  • If someone is experiencing heat stroke, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Attempt to cool them by immersing them in cold water, or sponging them with ice water-doused towels.

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