Heat exhaustion is a serious health risk that occurs when temperatures start to rise during the summer. When heat exhaustion occurs, emergency care is necessary to reduce the risk of complications. While emergency care can successfully treat heat exhaustion in most cases, prevention is the best policy, especially for young children and the elderly. These tips will help you enjoy summer while staying safe in the heat.
Proper hydration is critical in the summer months. Because you sweat more in the summer, you may need to increase your water intake. You should also be vigilant about having water handy and drinking it when you are doing activities outside. Be sure kids and seniors are also increasing their liquid intake. If your kids take part in summer sports, talk to the coach about hydration during practice and ensure that breaks are built into practices and games. According to this video from West Hills Hospital emergency care provider Natalie Shum, MD, coaches are often unaware of the risks of heat exhaustion, so parents need to be proactive about addressing the issue.
In the summer, restricting activity during the hottest hours is a smart strategy for preventing heat exhaustion and the need for emergency care. Typically, temperatures are the highest between 10 AM and 4 PM each day but check your local hourly forecast when you have outdoor activities planned. If you are going to be outside, dress appropriately in light, loose-fitting clothing, stay in the shade as much as possible and drink plenty of water.
Know the Signs
By reacting quickly to the signs of heat exhaustion, you can take steps to stop it from progressing. Dizziness flushed and clammy skin and fatigue are all symptoms that could indicate heat exhaustion. Be sure to watch for these signs, as well as confusion, in children and the elderly so you can seek emergency care as needed.
The ER at West Hills Hospital is ready to provide the emergency care you need, whatever the season. Find out more about emergency care in West Hills and our other services by calling (818) 676-4321.