Miscellaneous
Summer Heat

​​​​Overview:

  • Extreme heat can lead to premature death and can worsen chronic disease such as cardiovascular diseases and others. 
  • Extreme heat can be dangerous to health because it is not possible to confirm that the accompanied symptoms, such as sweating and fatigue, are signs of more serious condition. 
  • The negative health impacts of heat are predictable and largely preventable by adopting the health guidelines.
Population exposure to heat is increasing due to climate change. Globally, extreme temperature events are observed to be increasing in their frequency, duration, and magnitude. Exposure to excessive heat has wide ranging physiological impacts, often resulting in premature death and disability. The negative health impacts of heat are predictable and largely preventable by adopting the health guidelines. 

Types of heat-related illness:
  1. Heat exhaustion: It is a severe injury that requires emergency medical help as a result of prolonged heat exposure, sometimes for several days, especially when accompanied by dehydration.
  2. Heat cramps: Are muscle cramps, often in the abdomen or arms; because of the loss of a large amount of salt and water in the body. They can also occur as a result of prolonged exposure to extreme heat associated with dehydration, usually in an individual who is physically active (outdoor activities) in hot or humid weather.
  3. Sun stroke: Is the most serious heat-related illness, which requires emergency medical treatment. It occurs when the body fails to regulate its temperature, and as a result of other heat-related illness.  
Cause:
Heat-related illness, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke occur when the body is unable to cool itself properly. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Factors that may increase the risk of heat-related illness:

Risk factors that might increase your chance of developing a heat-related illness include:
  • High levels of humidity.
  • Obesity.
  • Fever.
  • Drug and alcohol use.
  • Heart disease.
  • Poor circulation.
  • Sun stroke. 

The most vulnerable groups:
  • Older adults.
  • Infants and children.
  • Overweight individuals.
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions such as hypertension or heart diseases.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Those working in hot and closed places without AC. 
Also, young and healthy people can be affected if they engage in strenuous physical activity during hot weather.

Symptoms:
​Heat Exhaustion
Heat cramps
Heat stroke 

  • ​Heavy sweating.
  • Weakness. 
  • Fatigue & dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Fainting.
  • Thirst.
  • Low urine output.

  • Heavy sweating.
  • Muscle pain or spasms.

  • High body temperature.
  • Mental changes.
  • Heart palpitations &headaches.
  • Nausea and dizziness.
  • Hot and dry skin.
  • Sweating.
  • Losing consciousness. ​

   
First aid for people with heat-related illness:
  • Move the person to a cool and dry place, and cool his body with water.
  • If he is conscious give him cold water, if unconscious don't give him any anything to drink to prevent suffocation. 
  • Take him right away to the nearest hospital to complete treatment and compensate the body for loss of fluids.  
Prevention tips:
  • Wear lightweight clothing and avoid dark and heavy clothes, which absorb heat from the sun. 
  • Stay in a cool place and reduce direct exposure to sunlight.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully and take a rest at shaded areas.
  • Apply sunscreen as per instruction, and wear wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. 
  • Don't leave children in cars, which can reach very dangerously high temperatures. Children are particularly at risk of sun stroke and death.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals, they may increase body temperature.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of activity level. Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink, and avoid sugary drinks.  
  • Consult your doctor to determine the amount of water that is right for you.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and ways of treatment. 
  • Educate athletes, coaches and parents about early signs of heat-related illness.
  • Taking care of those who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.



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Last Update 15 March 2020 03:12 PM
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