The summer swelter has arrived as forecasters call for rising temperatures across Maryland. That means more health risks as you work and play outside, especially for older people and young children.
Excessive heat exposure can cause several health problems including heat cramps, which are painful spasms of your arm, leg and/or abdomen muscles. People experiencing these symptoms should rest in a cooler place and drink water or fluids containing electrolytes.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include profuse sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, skin that feels cool and moist, and muscle cramps. Move this person to a cooler location, apply cool wet cloths to their body, and give them cool water to drink. If the person vomits or refuses to drink, call 9-1-1. Heat exhaustion can lead to heart stroke.
How can you avoid heat-related illnesses?
- Wear light-weight, light colored clothing made of breathable material, like cotton.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity on hot days.
- If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in a cool place.
- Air-conditioning is the single best way to protect against heat-related illness. If you do not have air-conditioning at home during extreme heat. Try to spend time in air-conditioned locations such as a shopping mall, public library, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelter in your area.