Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms, Management and Prevention
Summers are back. But that doesn’t mean you can take off from your work and stay at home. You will have to step out. But the dry and hot winds outside may lead to heat exhaustion. Learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to manage it.
What is a Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a medical condition where body, become very hot and start to lose water and salts. It begins slowly but if not managed may lead to Heat stroke (a state where the body is unable to cool itself, temperature becomes extremely high and is a life-threatening condition).
Our body creates and releases lots of heat. But through the sweating body is cooled. In hot and humid weather condition the natural cooling system of the body fails, elevating body temperature. Heat Exhaustion can be more severe if you are not drinking enough water to keep body rehydrated.
Babies, toddlers, and young children are more exposed to heat illness while playing outside, riding in a hot car and from coming back or going to classes. So it is essential to keep a watch on following sign and symptoms mentioned below.
Sign and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion causes symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, dizziness, Headache, nausea, vomiting, fainting, sweating heavily, increased thirst. Other symptoms include muscle cramps, fall in blood pressure, decreased urination, fainting and irritability. The body temperature is elevated but is less than 105 degrees Farenhite.
Who is more at the Risk of Heat Stroke:
Anyone exposed to dry and hot summer winds may become a victim of heat stroke. However, it is more common in infants, children, elderly and athletes. Children who are left in parking cars, those who drink an excess of alcohol, individuals with chronic heart disease and who drink very less water during the summers are more at risk.
Management of Heat Exhaustion
Try to bring the patient’s body temperature down quickly by undress baby, lying the patient in a cool room or cool place or shade, Sponging body with a clean cloth dipped in cool water. Fan if the skin is moist.
- Elevate patients
- Massage to relieve cramps.
- Give sips of fluid; you may give plain water or ORS.
- In case of vomiting in small children, turn the child to his side to avoid choking
- If even after 30 minutes of above treatment there is no recovery get medical help.
Prevention of Heat Stroke
Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent heat stroke wear loose and light coloured dresses. If possible wear a dress that covers and protect the whole body from exposure to the sun and dry winds. Drink plenty of water before going out in hot weather. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
Do not go out during hours especially 12 am to 3 pm. Teach your kids to walk or play in the shade if possible and return if overheated. Do not to overexert yourself. Eat lots of salads and fruits. Do not bathe with warm water in summers, use water at room temperature.
Keep in mind-
If the patient becomes unconscious or has severe symptoms like confusion, fits, disorientation, fever above 105 degrees F, immediately seek medical help.
Take care of your kids and family in summers. Happy summers.