Written by Padraic Juarez, Administrator, Wakulla County Health Department Friday, 05 August 2011 11:26
As August brings higher temperatures in Wakulla County, Padraic Juarez, MS, RS, CPM, administrator of the Wakulla County Health Department, urges individuals to be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment.
WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION VARY BUT MAY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
• Heavy sweating
• Muscle cramps
• Nausea or vomiting
• Skin may be cool and moist.
• Pulse rate may be fast and weak.
• Breathing may be fast and shallow.
If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if the symptoms are severe or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure. Otherwise, help the victim to cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
WHAT TO DO IF HEAT EXHAUSTION IS SUSPECTED:
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
• Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages, as directed by your physician.
• Rest in an air-conditioned environment.
• Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
• Wear lightweight clothing.
• Prevent sun burn, which damages the skin's ability to dissipate heat, by wearing sunscreen of 30 SPF.
For further information, please call the Wakulla County Health Department at 926-0401, or visit: www.doh.state.fl.
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