How To: Avoid a Heat-Related Illness

sun-220186_640August is here.

Typically, August is the warmest month of the year in Wisconsin. Many people wait all year for this type of warm weather; however, it’s important to be careful of heat-related illnesses when the heat starts to rise.

Knowing the symptoms of a heat-related illness is one of the most important keys when it comes to avoiding it. Common symptoms include high body temperature, skin that is red, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, a headache, dizziness, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, confusion, seizures, or unconsciousness. Signs of any of these symptoms should be taken care of immediately.

When shown any signs of a heat-related illness; you should begin treating it. First, get the person inside to a cool area and remove and restrictive or excess clothing. Cool the person in a tub of cool water or in a shower. You could also spray them with water while blowing a fan towards them. You can also place ice packs on their armpits, neck, and groin area.  If the person is alert and awake, allow them to drink cool water to drink.

Remember to watch for the signs. If somebody’s body temp is about 103°F, their skin is hot and red, they have a rapid and strong pulse, or if they are unconscious—it could be sign of  a heat stroke. Make sure you call 911 immediately for medical assistance.

In order to prevent a heat-related illness you should be drinking 16-32 oz. of water an hour. You should also wear light-colored, loose fitted clothing. If you have a heavy outdoor workload, try to do this at cooler times during the day. Don’t be afraid to rest in shady areas as often as you can. Avoid alcoholic fluids, caffeine, or sugary beverages.

We hope you enjoy the remainder of summer—just remember to be aware of the threat of a heat-related illness. Keep hydrated and sit in the shade whenever possible.

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