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Friday, July 13, 2018

Beat The Heat:
Tips for Preventing and Dealing With Heat-Related Illnesses

With higher temperatures and increased humidity comes a danger of over-heating when we're outdoors playing or working. Here are some preventative measures from the Centers for Disease Control that you can take to keep from becoming ill in hot weather:

Heat illness can be prevented. Remember these three things: waterrest, and shade.
  • WATER: Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. A good rule of thumb is to drink 4 cups of water every hour. It is best to drink a small amount of water every 15 minutes.
  • REST: Rest breaks help your body recover.
  • SHADE: Resting in the shade or in air-conditioning helps you cool down.
sketch of workers drinking fluids near the back of a truck
sketch of workers under covered an area

Here are some other ways you can prevent illness from the heat:

  • Report symptoms of heat illness right away.
  • Wear light-colored cotton clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Watch out for your coworkers.
  • Know where you are working in case you need to call 911.

Below are some tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on dealing with heat-related illnesses:

Heat-related Illnesses and First Aid

Illustration of a man's head who seems to have a high body temperature
Heat stroke, the most serious form of heat-related illness, happens when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that may result in death! Call 911 immediately.
Illustration of a man's head who sweating
Heat exhaustion is the body's response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating.
Illustration of a leg which denotes cramping
Heat cramps are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Tired muscles—those used for performing the work—are usually the ones most affected by cramps. Cramps may occur during or after working hours.
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is skin irritation caused by sweat that does not evaporate from the skin. Heat rash is the most common problem in hot work environments.
The chart below shows symptoms and first aid measures to take if a worker shows signs of a heat-related illness.

More tips and safety advice can be found on the National Weather Service website. [LINK]

Be safe and have fun when you're out and about and remember to keep plenty of water with you so can stay hydrated.


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Published at 12:45 pm on Friday, July 13, 2018

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Data and information sources: Sources (except where otherwise credited): Centers for Disease Control, National Weather Service Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Cameron Beccario of Point B Studio.