Ready to go to the beach? I bet you remembered your sunscreen! Ready to take a swim in the ocean or tan in the sun in this Texas heat? As fun as all of those activities sound, there is risk involved and that is heat exhaustion. It is something you never want to encounter outdoors. Today we are going to discuss the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion as well as what you can do to avoid getting it.
Before we dive into signs and symptoms, it is important to know what exactly heat exhaustion is. It is defined as a condition with symptoms that may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating.
Heat exhaustion is an illness caused by being exposed to elevated temperatures for extended periods of time. One of the biggest factors relating to it is dehydration, so drink plenty of water if you want to avoid it. There are two types of heat exhaustion to look out for. The first one is water depletion, which is cause by not drinking enough water. The second one is salt depletion which leads to nausea and muscle cramps.
A few other signs to look out for are:
- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Pale skin
- Excessive sweating
- Fast heartbeat
Once you have heat exhaustion, you must:
- Get out of the sun and into a preferably air-conditioned place
- Drink plenty of water, but make sure to stay away from caffeinated drinks or alcohol
- Remove tight clothing
- Apply ice or another cooling measure to your body
If none of these measures work within 15 minutes of being away from the sun, seek immediate medical attention as untreated heat exhaustion may lead to a heat stroke. After you’ve made a full recovery, you will be sensitive to feverish temperatures, so stay indoors and away from the sun until you have been medically cleared from your doctor.
- Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing
- Wear sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent you from being dehydrated
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
Now that you are aware of the potential dangers as well as the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, you will take an extra precaution at the beach or any other place with hot temperatures.
Heat exhaustion results in more than 600 deaths per year!! It is a serious condition that everyone overlooks because they don’t think it will ever happen to them.
With the proper education about heat exhaustion, the number of deaths caused by it can possibly drop drastically and many lives can be saved!