As we head into summer, heat is always a hot topic, especially here in Arkansas. It's also a good time to remember those safety tips to keep from becoming overheated. Here's Dr. Kyler Crary with today's St. Vincent Corner Clinic Report.
"Too hot is more related to the heat index. So it's not just the temperature, it's also the humidity"
Definitely over 98 degrees to 105, you have a medium risk. Over 105 to 130 heat index, the risk becomes more significant. Over 130, it becomes almost a definite."
Physically, what happens to the body as a result of exposure to extreme heat?Most of the time, you just start sweating profusely. Your body gets a little pale. You get clammy. Your body is trying to cool off by sweating as much as it can.
Basically after that, your body loses it's ability to regulate its own heat. So, you stop sweating. Your body gets really dry, hot, your blood pressure can go down,Which can lead to organ failure, seizures, death.
So what is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what are the symptoms that you should look for?Heat exhaustion, your body is comepensating. It's losing a lot of water but it's still able to sweat. It's still able to regulate its own temperature. Whereas heat stroke is when you lose that ability to regulate your temperature.
Heat exhaustion is excessive sweating, turning white in the face and dizzines, light headedness, the feeling of euphoria. For heat stroke, it's more turning beat red, really red lips. Sometimes you can actually get swollen lips. Your heart is beating really fast and dry skin."
What's the best way to cool someone off?
It differs from heat illness to heat illness. For heat cramps and heat exhaustion, it's really just hydrating, getting them in a cool place.
For heat stroke, you actually shouldn't let them drink anything because they are much more likely to vomit and have more problems because of that. So you really just want to get them cold as quickly as possible.
Lastly, any tips for preventing heat related illness?
Paying attention to the heat index. Not going out and exercising when it's above 105 if you can avoid it.
If you do have to be outside, just taking frequent rest breaks, hydrating like crazy. Even if you don't feel dehydrated or thirsty, making sure you drink a lot.
Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool. Electric fans may provide some relief but when those temperatures reach the upper 90's, they do little to combat heat related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for at least a few hours a day will reduce your risk.