Scorching St. Louis: How To Spot Heat Exhaustion
Staying cool in the St. Louis summer heat is a constant challenge. Everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers that come with summer heat. Do you know what to do if you or someone near you experiences heat exhaustion?
Let’s start by defining a few things.
1) Extreme heat is anything above a heat index of 90.
2) Heat index is the apparent temperature. It refers to what the temperature feels like to the human body when air temperature and relative humidity are combined.
Your body works to regulate its own temperature. If you get too hot you will begin to sweat in order to cool off. However, the hotter and more humid it gets the less your body can regulate its temperature through sweating. The sweat is unable to evaporate, and the rate of sweating decreases. Thus, you will feel warmer when humidity is high.
All of this means that it is important to keep an eye on both children and the elderly in hot conditions. They are very susceptible to heat exhaustion because their bodies are less able to cool down with normal processes.
When keeping an eye on them what should you be looking for?
- Signs of heat exhaustion often include:
- Cool or moist skin with goose bumps
- Heavy sweating
Easy ways to combat the effects of heat exhaustion include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Cool down with a cold shower or bath
- Apply cold towel or fans to bring body temperature down
A good rule of thumb is to stay under a head index of 90. Any hotter and it is best to stay inside with air conditioning. If you notice the signs listed above and suspect heat exhaustion, make sure you take action FAST.
To read more about protecting yourself from heat exhaustion click here.
Categorized in: Tips