Posted on June 25, 2013
The hazy, hot days of summer are here. Children, the elderly, and people who are excessively overweight have a higher risk of developing heat illness in this weather. People taking certain medications or drinking alcohol also have a higher risk. Heat illness falls into three categories: heat cramps, heat exhausting and heat stroke.
Although heat illness can be caused by prolonged exposure to extreme heat, it is not the only risk.
It is important to be mindful of the symptoms of heat illness regardless of your age and physical condition. Extreme heat can cause your body to feel fatigue, sweat profusely, experience thirst and muscle cramps:
Heat stroke, the most serious heat illness, occurs when the body overheats and is unable to cool down. Potentially fatal, left untreated it also can cause organ damage such as kidney failure. Although exercising or overexerting yourself in the heat at any age can contribute to heat stroke, it is not the only risk factor:
When possible avoid heavy work, extreme heat, high humidity and sun exposure:
Courtesy of emergency medicine physician Melissa Harper, M.D., of EmCare, on behalf of Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Visit our website to learn more about the dangers of heat stroke.
© 2013 Saint Peter’s Healthcare System254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901