First posted on 06-21-2012
Below are brief descriptions of heat-related illnesses and actions to take to help victims.
* A heat rash is skin irritation from excessive sweating and is most common in young children. It looks like a red cluster of blisters or pimples. Treat heat rash by moving to a cooler, less humid environment and keep the area dry.
* Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms that may happen during strenuous activity.Treat heat cramps by taking a break in a cool place. Drink clear juice or a sports beverage, and don’t engage in strenuous activity for at least a few hours after the cramps stop; further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Medical attention may be necessary if heat cramps don’t stop in one hour. Those with heart problems and those on a low-sodium diet should seek medical attention immediately for heat cramps.
* Heat exhaustion can come before heat stroke. Signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fainting, rapid breathing, and a fast, weak pulse. Treat heat exhaustion by resting in an air-conditioned environment and take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath. To cool the body, drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
* Heat stroke is a life-threatening illness. Body temperature may rise above 106 degrees Fahrenheit very quickly. Signs of a heatstroke may vary and include an extremely high body temperatures above 103 degrees; red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness. If heat stroke is suspected, have someone call immediately for medical assistance and help cool down the victim.
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