Insurance Blog
Friday, 20 July 2018 02:23

Preventing Heat Stroke

Avoid Heat Illness

When it’s hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally, your body cools itself when you sweat. However, in hot and humid weather, sweating many not be enough. The result can be heat stroke, or heat illness.


Extreme heat events, or heat waves, are a leading cause of extreme weather-related deaths in the United States. The number of heat-related deaths is rising. For example, in 1995, 465 heat-related deaths occurred in Chicago. From 1999 to 2010, a total of 7,415 people died of heat-related deaths, an average of about 618 deaths a year. 

Heat-related death or illnesses are preventable if you follow a few simple steps.

  • drinking-2704297_960_720.pngDo Not Leave Children (or Pets) in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
    • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
    • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
    • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

  • Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

  • Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
    • Stay Hydrated—Frequently drink plenty of liquids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. At least eight ounces every half hour is recommend.
    • Avoid very sugary or alcoholic drinks—these everages actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

  • Keep Your Pets Hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

  • Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
    • If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

  • Avoid Over Exertion & Take Breaks When Working Outside. Cool off in a shady area or inside where there is air-conditioning.
    • When working outside, adapt to conditions gradually. Give your body a chance to become acclimated to the extreme heat.

  • Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned lcoation as much as possible. If your home or work enviromment does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
    • Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

  • Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

  • Wear Appropraite Clothing:  Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
    • Wear a hat while outdoors.

  • Monitor Those at High Risk: Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:

    • Infants and young children.
    • People 65 years of age or older.
    • People who are overweight.
    • People who overexert during work or exercise.
    • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

How to Stay Cool in Extreme Heat Video

A message from Dr. Robin Ikeda, Acting Director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, on how you can prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths by staying cool, hydrated and informed.

Know The SIgns & The Treatment

Heat illness can be a serious threat. Watch for the following signs of heat illness.

  1. Cramps — severe muscle spasm in the back, stomach, arms and legs are attributed to loss of salt and water from the body, which is caused by excessive perspiration.
  2. Exhaustion — heavy sweating, cool or pale skin, nausea, heath, weakness, vomiting, and a rapid pulse are symptoms of heat exhaustion.
  3. Heat Stroke — high body temperature, red or dry skin, rapid breathing and pulse, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are all signs of heat stroke. At this point, sweating may stop and seizure, confusion or unconsciousness may occur.

Follow the tips in this infographic when seeking treatment for heat illness. 




Read 1926 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 August 2018 04:26

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