According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, each year about 400 deaths and thousands of emergency department visits are caused by heat illnesses. While infants and people 65 and older are most at risk for a heat related illness, it can affect anyone, even exercise enthusiasts.
The early warning signs of heat exhaustion are nausea, light-headedness, fatigue, muscle cramping and dizziness. It is imperative to recognize the warning signs and act on them as soon as possible.
At the first sign of heat exhaustion, it is important to take the following steps to help get your temperature down and cool your body:
- Move to an air-conditioned place.
- Take a cold shower or using cold compresses.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Remove tight or extra clothing layers.
Unlike heat exhaustion, a heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. Someone experiencing heat stroke may have a headache, confusion, no sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea or vomiting and may lose consciousness.