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Heat Stoke and Heat Exhaustion

Although summer time is coming to an end, we are continuing to have hot days throughout September and a lot of us may be starting to make plans for South-bound trips in the late autumn and winter months. Heat can affect the body in the wrong way and it is important to note the strong effects the sun can have on us as well as the differences between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion.

Heat Exhaustion, although not as severe as Heat Stroke, is still quite serious. It can occur when an individual spends too much time in extremely hot temperatures and is highly dehydrated or if the person is low in sodium (mainly due to excessive sweating). Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion, muscle cramps, and vomiting or diarrhea. When demonstrating such symptoms, immediately try to lower your body temperature by taking a cool bath or shower and increase your water intake to rehydrate yourself. Although the sun can cause heat exhaustion, it isn’t necessary for it to occur. High temperatures are the main factor for causing heat exhaustion and should be avoided if possible.

Heat stroke is highly dangerous and can lead to death and is a medical emergency. It is usually a progressive ‘heat exhaustion’ condition, and sometimes shows no previous signs before occurring. The core body temperature has now heightened to above 105 degrees Fahrenheit and other symptoms may be fainting, lack of sweating, nausea, vomiting, hot skin, seizures or losing consciousness. Emergency medical treatment is needed immediately and should be contacted right away.

Be safe in the sun and enjoy the heat with caution. Be aware of the effect high temperatures can have on the body. Stay hydrated and in the shade when dealing with extreme conditions to prevent Heat exhaustion and heat stroke from occurring.