Heat illnesses can be prevented by being careful in hot, humid weather.
Increased activity in the summer could result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke, a cascading condition that can cause permanent disability or death.
Older people, those struggling with health issues and young children are most susceptible to heat exhaustion as well as athletes who wear helmets and heavy uniforms during summer practices. But Matthew Martinez, MD, director of Atlantic Health System Sports Cardiology at Morristown Medical Center cautions that everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms to protect themselves and those around them.
Know the Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
The symptoms of heat exhaustion can include:
- Cold skin
- Muscle cramps
When not properly addressed, heat exhaustion can develop into heat stroke, a condition where the body is simply unable to cool itself and begins to shut down.
Atlantic Health System cardiologist, Michael Weinrauch, MD, urges people to acclimate to the season and to practice common sense when spending time in the sun. He also says it is critical to recognize when someone is in crisis.
“The summer heat and humidity sneak up on us and it is important to know how to respond if you suspect a person is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”
According to Dr. Martinez, treatment for heat exhaustion involves stopping activity, moving the person to a cooler, shaded location, and providing cold water until the symptoms decline. If a person’s condition worsens, and symptoms of heat stroke emerge, it is important to get the person as cool as possible and to contact medical professionals. They will likely begin IV therapy to quickly hydrate the person and cool the body.
Be Proactive About Your Health
To stay safe and healthy, it's good to have a primary care provider who knows and understands your health history and wellness goals.
Atlantic Health System is your healthy summer guide to a safe and fun season. From helpful tips to preventive and urgent care, we've got you covered for whatever summer brings.
Even seemingly gentle activities can lead to unexpected injuries. Learn helpful tips for preventing injury when exercising in the summer heat.
Summertime activities bring us out in the sun. Whether it’s time spent at the beach, pool, park, or garden, it’s important to protect your skin from the glare of ultraviolet (UV) rays -- and lower your risk of potential skin damage.
Learn 5 tips to help you stay cool and safe during hot and sticky summers and avoid heat-related illness.
Even a healthy heart can be put under stress when temperatures climb. Learn more about what factors may make someone particularly vulnerable to heat-related conditions.
Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers, but it’s more dangerous if not treated early. Learn the early warning signs and how to spot melanoma.