Summer is here... finally, and its time to enjoy it! After a long cold winter and rainy spring, it is finally time to get outside to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. It is important, however, to ensure you do so safely and responsibly. In this series we will go over various heat related emergencies and illnesses and how to avoid/treat them. In our first installment, we will cover heat exhaustion.
This heat related illness typically occurs due to heavy sweating in a hot environment, leading to a lack of fluids in the body. This is most common while performing some sort of strenuous activity like playing sports or heavy labour. It is important to pay close attention to the temperature in your environment whether inside or outside and make sure you are adequately PREPARED:
- Be sure to hydrate continually, even if you are not thirsty
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both cause dehydration in the body
- Eat light, but well-balanced meals throughout the day
- Minimize your need to perform strenuous activities outdoors
- Wear light coloured clothing
Sometimes, even with good preparation, we may still experience signs of heat exhaustion or witness somebody else that is. It is important to know the SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:
- Warm, moist, pale or flushed skin
It is equally important to know how to treat this person and provide them CARE:
- Move the person to a cooler environment
- Remove or loosen any tight and sweaty clothing
- Cool the person. Use cool wet cloths or towels and fan their skin to accelerate evaporation.
- Rehydrate. Give the person cool water and have them sip it gradually.
- Call 911 if the person begins vomiting or begins to lose consciousness or does not improve after cooling.
Know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. We will cover heat stroke in the next installment of our Summer Safety Series. Stay up to date with current first aid standards and be notified when we have updated our blog by following us on Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.