Did you know that extreme heat has killed more people in recent years than all other natural disasters combined?1 Between 1999 and 2009, there were an average of 658 heat-related deaths per year in the United States.2 While warmer weather means more outdoor activities for many, knowing how to prevent overheating and how to identify warning signs from heat injury can be the difference between a fun and healthy summer, and something much more serious.
Know the Warning Signs
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most common problems when the body is exposed to excessive temperatures.3 Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include, but are not limited to:
- Blurred vision;
- Profuse sweating;
- Weak pulse;
Reducing the Chance of Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion can be life-threatening if not treated right away, as it can quickly lead to heat stroke. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, here are a few tips to reduce the chance of heat stroke:
- Go to a shady location or a room with air conditioning.
- Lie down and stay calm.
- Take frequent small sips of cool water or a sports drink.
- Call the doctor if symptoms of heat exhaustion persist.