Prevent Heat Exhaustion And Heat Stroke

Excessive heat can make you feel tired and irritable and, if you aren't careful, very sick. Sidney Health Center reminds you to keep your cool when temperatures are rising to avoid these heat-related illnesses:

Heat cramps: Sweating a lot during strenuous activity can deplete the salt level in muscles, which can lead to painful muscle cramps.

Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion can develop after exposure to high temperatures for several days without adequate hydration. Warning signs include:

• Heavy sweating

• Paleness

• Headache

• Fainting

• Dizziness

• Heat cramps

Heat stroke: This is a more severe form of a heat-related illness that requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if anyone, especially a young child or older person, experiences these symptoms:

• Rapid heartbeat

• Rapid and shallow breathing

• Elevated or lowered blood pressure

• Hot, dry skin and an absence of sweat

• Irritability, confusion or delirium

• Fainting

How can I prevent heat illness?

When temperatures soar, stay indoors as much as possible, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. If you have to venture out, the American Academy of Family Physicians advises that you take these precautions:

• Drink extra water and other fluids, but limit beverages that contain caffeine; they can cause dehydration. Consider adding a sports drink to replenish salt in your body

• Choose lightweight clothing, preferably loose fitting and light colored

• Slather on the sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat

• Schedule outdoor activities, especially strenuous ones, before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Can't avoid being outdoors? Take it easy. Take a break. Take a drink at least every 15 minutes, even if you aren't thirsty. If your urine looks dark in color, you may be dehydrated. Talk to your doctor about any concerns or if you have a chronic health problem.

If you experience a life-threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1. The Sidney Health Center Emergency Department is staffed by medical personnel trained in emergency care including a team of board-certified physicians, nurses, hospital personnel and EMTs, who provide emergency services 24/7. The Emergency Department is available to treat major and minor illnesses and injuries. To access emergency care, use the emergency entrance located on 12th Ave. SW, Sidney.

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