Tuesday, July 03, 2012
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There’s no doubt about it – it’s summer. And in case you weren’t sure, Mother Nature reminded us with a recent heat wave with temperatures in New York City reaching the high 90s. But what can we expect in the upcoming months as temperatures continue to rise? Each summer brings warnings of heat stroke and other heat-related conditions, such as dehydration and exhaustion, and Dr. John Marshall, Chair of Emergency Medicine, gives you the info you need to stay safe this summer.
Stay safe in the summer heat with these helpful tips from
Dr. John Marshall, Chair of Emergency Medicine.
“A heat wave is always dangerous and it’s particularly dangerous for three groups of people,” explains Dr. Marshall. Dr. Marshall indicates that children, elderly and obese people are at a higher risk of developing heat illnesses. “However, even folks who are otherwise healthy can succumb to heat illness, if he or she ignores the warning signs.” It can take several hours or days to develop heat stroke so it is important to watch for any signs and symptoms. “It’s important to note that the symptoms of heat-related conditions can vary depending on the severity of the illness,” emphasizes Dr. Marshall.
Early Symptoms of Heat Illness Include:
- Profuse Sweating
- Muscle Cramps
Later Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion Include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of Heat Stroke Include:
The best thing? Prevention. “One of the most important ways to stay safe in the midst of a heat wave or on a very hot day is to hydrate,” asserts Dr. Marshall. Drink plenty of fluids and increase your intake, if you plan on exercising or engaging in other outdoor activities. “The second suggestion is to wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and other protective gear, such as a hat, to keep the sun off your skin and minimize sun exposure,” states Dr. Marhsall. It’s important to stay cool, so rest frequently and seek shade when you can. And, although we like to indulge in the warmer months, Dr. Marshall warns, “Avoid caffeine and alcohol intake on a very hot day. You can become dehydrated and put yourself at a higher risk of heat-related illnesses.”