Telling the Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke During Triple Digit Heat
Over all the summer of 2019's been unseasonably cool in the Treasure Valley, but as we roll into late July we're getting our first taste of triple digit heat.
Monday's high is 101º and most of this week is expected to stay in the upper 90s. If you're planning on spending time outdoors, have kids playing outside or older teens doing conditioning for their fall sports, this is the time of the year you want to keep an eye out for symptoms of heat related illnesses.
According to the CDC, an average of 618 people die every year from heat related illness. The two most common heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It's important to know the difference between the two because one you can often treat yourself (heat exhaustion) and one is considered a medical emergency (heat stroke.) Here are some red flags you need to look out for if you start feeling yucky or if you notice your child starts to act a little strange.
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Excessive sweating
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Muscle Cramps
- Excessive thirst
- Throbbing headache
- No sweating
- Body temperature above 103º
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid, strong pulse
- May lose consciousness
According to Beaumont Health, this is how you should proceed if you or your child are exhibiting the symptoms mentioned above.
Heat Exhaustion Treatment
- Hydrate with water or sports drinks (I actually drink Pedialyte to help replace electrolytes because it's less sugary than sports drinks. I'll throw a tablet of Nuun in the water I sip on throughout the day too. It's a hydration product that adds electrolytes to your water. You can find them in the pharmacy area at Albertsons, near the checkout at Whole Foods or any of the running shops in the Treasure Valley.)
- Lie down in a cooler, air-conditioned place
- Take a cool shower or use cold compress
- Remove tight layers of clothing
- If vomiting continues, seek medical attention
- Treat ASAP; Left untreated heat exhaustion can become heat stroke
Heat Stroke Treatment
- Call 911 or proceed to the ER; heat stroke is a medical emergency
- Move patient to cooler temperature until help arrives
- Use cold compress to reduce body temp
Read over those a few times and bookmark this article if you're going to be enjoying time outside on the River, at Alive After Five, etc this week!