Preventing Heat Stress & Heat Stroke

by Tina Jaycox

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Now that we are officially into the summer season and temps are climbing, its important to exercise caution and take a few quick steps to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses. These simple suggestions will go a long way to help prevent possible heat exhaustion:

  • Drink plenty of water. One cup per 15 minutes is the suggested amount. You want to avoid feeling thirsty.
  • Take rest in the shade or better yet: inside (or in your vehicle) where there is air conditioning.
  • Know the signs/symptoms of heat stress/stroke and monitor yourself for them.
  • Block out direct sun and other heat sources if you can.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting closing; however, if your job requires PPE, you must wear it

Heat Stress vs Heat Stroke

If you suspect that you or someone around you may be suffering a heat-related stroke, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Heat stroke is caused by a failure of the body’s cooling mechanisms which causes the body’s core temperature to rise and may ultimately cause mental confusion. Heat stroke usually follows two other heat-related problems; heat cramps and heat exhaustion. These two conditions are marked by¬†muscle cramps followed by exhaustion and profuse sweating. The elderly, pregnant females, and young children are at higher risk for heat stroke.

As a reminder, do not leave infants, children, or pets in vehicles during warm weather. Vehicular heat stroke is 100% preventable.

For additional information about heat stroke, CLICK HERE.