Strategic Communications Manager
This summer appears destined to go into record books as one of hottest ever, with many parts of the U.S., including Arkansas, and Europe already breaking all-time temperature records. Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S., so it’s important to take precautions against heat-related illnesses.
The most common forms of heat illness, from most to least dangerous, are heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash. The Arkansas Department of Health advises to watch for the following symptoms and take the following actions if symptoms appear:
Heatstroke: Symptoms include high body temperature; hot, red, dry, or damp skin; a fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and fainting. If symptoms appear, call 911 right away, move to a cooler place, and help lower the body temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath.
Heat exhaustion: Symptoms include heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; a fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness; headache; and fainting. If symptoms appear, move to a cool place, loosen clothes, put cool, wet cloths on the body or take a cool bath, and sip water. Get medical help right away if vomiting, dizziness, or other symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.
Heat cramps: Symptoms include heavy sweating during intense exercise and muscle pain or spasms. If heat cramps occur, stop physical activity and move to a cool place, drink water or a sports drink, and wait for cramps to go away before starting more physical activity. A person who is on a low-sodium diet, has heart problems, or experiences cramps lasting longer than one hour should seek medical help immediately.
Sunburn: Symptoms include painful, red, and warm skin and blisters on the skin. If sunburn occurs, stay out of the sun until the sunburn heals, put cool cloths on the sunburned areas or take a cool bath, put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas, and do not break blisters.
Heat rash: Symptoms include red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin, usually on the neck, chest, groin, or elbow creases. If heat rash occurs, stay in a cool, dry place, keep the rash dry, and use powder (like baby powder) to soothe the rash.