Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion – What To Look Out For
Another day of excessive oppressive heat is forecast for South Louisiana. The National Weather Service office in Lake Charles says that heat index values, or the feels like temperature, for most of us in Acadiana will range from 108 degrees to 112 degrees this afternoon.
Heat in South Louisiana in the summertime is nothing new. Yet, every year we have to report friends and neighbors being hospitalized or killed because of the heat. Would you know the signs of heat exhaustion? Would you know what to do if you suspected someone was suffering from heatstroke?
Heat exhaustion is the lesser of the two evils but both situations can become serious in just a matter of moments. Here are some quick things to be aware of as you keep an eye on your friends, family, and co-workers during these overly warm times.
Heat Exhaustion- The individual becomes dizzy or nauseous and they might begin to sweat profusely. Their skin could actually feel cold and clammy and muscle cramps are a sure sign the body is having difficulty managing the heat.
Heatstroke - They might actually stop sweating. That's not good. Their body temperature could rise well above 100 degrees and they will often complain of a throbbing headache. A person suffering a heatstroke might also lose consciousness. This would be the time to dial 911, if actually, not sooner.
Obviously, in either case, quick action is necessary to prevent the issue from escalating.
Prevention might be the best medicine in the case of extreme heat. If you can avoid the outdoors during the heat of the day then you are ahead of the game. If you can avoid doing strenuous activities such as lawn work, sports, or laying asphalt you will definitely be ahead of the game.
However, just sitting in the heat for prolonged periods of time can be an issue too. Heck, even a walk around the neighborhood can be dicey if you aren't drinking your water. You might want to also include a rub down of the face and the back of your neck with a cloth dipped in cold water after that walk just to make sure you're body is cooling off the way it needs to cool off.
Don't forget to check on your pets during periods of extreme heat. Make sure they have fresh cool water to drink and a shady place to relax especially during the hottest part of the day.
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