Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Five Signs of Heat Exhaustion

It's going to be another 90-degree day in Maine, and I don't have air conditioning. I have errands to run this morning in my air-conditioned car, and will probably spend the afternoon in the Maine State Library. In between, Dizzy and I will head down to the river so he can take a swim.

Stay cool, and watch for the following symptoms, which can be signs of heat exhaustion. You can cool yourself down by drinking non-alcoholic beverages, plunging your hands and feet into cold water, applying cold compresses to pressure points, taking a cold shower, and — obviously — going someplace air-conditioned.

1. Heavy sweating. You're supposed to sweat, though; if you're not sweating at all, you're in serious trouble, and need to seek medical help immediately.

2. Muscle cramps. A sign of dehydration, muscle cramps may also signal sodium depletion, low calcium, low magnesium, and/or low potassium. Water is almost always better than anything else for dehydration, but Gatorade was originally developed to replace minerals and electrolytes lost in excessive heat.

3. Tiredness and weakness. There's a reason animals sleep through the heat of the day. Afternoon naps are a good idea.

4. Headache. Another sign of dehydration. Drink more water.

5. Nausea and vomiting. By the time you start throwing up, things are getting dangerous, because that makes you even more dehydrated. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal. It makes victims disoriented; if you suspect that someone near you has heat stroke, call 911 or get them to an emergency room immediately.

3 comments:

Karen Olson said...

Stay cool, my friend!

Thomas at My Porch said...

A nice cold shower before bed, no clothes, fan...I actually kind of like it that way. But during the day is another story. You are right to go to the library.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are staying cool. 101 here today in Richmond, VA...hotter tomorrow. Ahhhh...summer!
Susan