Today it’s all about Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke. The dog days of summer are now directly upon us, along with the scorching and unbearable heat that the midday sun shines down on us. The extreme temperatures are not the only thing that rises this time of year.
The number of heat exhaustion cases and visits to the emergency room escalates, not to mention the number of heat-related deaths. That’s right, the heat is nothing that anyone should take lightly. Let’s dive into the difference between heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke. In case you missed this post: How To Know When Someone Is Severely Dehydrated
Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke
This is especially true if you work outside in the heat all day or have children that play summer and fall sports. You need to know and be able to share with your children what the symptoms are, along with the course of action that needs to take place. Here’s more on heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as everything you need to know.
Heatstroke is among the leading causes of death in young people and teens today. Most of these cases are related to sports in some way. Stay tuned because I have a lot more information about Heat Exhaustion vs. Heatstroke.
Heatstroke is at the top of the list when looking at weather-related deaths. Every single year, as many as 658 people die from heat-related illnesses, many of which were preventable.
Over the past few decades there has been a noticeable rise in humidity and temperatures. There’s an average of 1 heatstroke death per 2 million Americans every year.
People who are at a Greater Risk
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can happen to anybody, but these are the people who are at a greater risk. Infants, along with individuals who are older than 65 are at potentially greater risk, along with those who struggle with obesity.
People that work outside, along with athletes that train outside are also at a greater risk because of all the energy that they are using. Those who take certain prescription medications (treating high blood pressure) and patients that have an imbalance of the hormone thyroxine, (causes your body temperature to rise more quickly) also have a greater chance of experiencing heat exhaustion.
What Triggers Heat Exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion can be caused by a number of different triggers besides spending too much time out in the sun or strenuous exercise. It can take place if you overdress, allow your body to dehydrate from not drinking enough liquids, or drinking too much alcohol as well.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is not as critical as heat stroke but is still very concerning. Heat exhaustion has a number of symptoms that you need to watch out for. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, and could possibly even lead to death. Here’s what to look out for:
- Extreme thirst
- Excessive sweating
- Dizzy or lightheaded
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid, but weak pulse
- Clammy, pale cold skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
What to do for Heat Exhaustion
Now that you know some of the symptoms for heat exhaustion, you can act and treat it before things go from bad to worse. Here are some actions that you need to consider in order to get your body temperature back down to normal.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Stop all activity
- Get to a cool, preferably air-conditioned location
- Remove any extra clothing or layers
- Use cold compresses or take a cold shower
- Use fans or ice towels
Recovery Time for Heat Exhaustion
Most people that suffer from heat exhaustion will notice an improvement within 30 minutes after the symptoms have been treated. If for whatever reason the symptoms do not improve after 30 to 60 minutes, be sure to seek medical attention.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The symptoms of heat stroke are much more severe than those of heat exhaustion and can be deadly. Your course of action and treatment will look slightly different too. These are a few of the symptoms of heat stroke:
- No sweat
- Dry skin
- In and out of consciousness
- Confusion or delirious
- Rapid heart rate
- Red and hot skin
- Difficulty breathing
- A temperature of more than 104 degrees
What to Do for Heat Stroke
If you believe that someone you know is experiencing heat stroke, don’t hesitate, medical attention will be required. These are the steps and actions that are critical to keeping that person alive.
- Immediately dial 911
- Don’t give them any liquids unless they are awake and alert
- Move that person to a cooler place
- Place cold compresses on the person
How to Prevent These Situations
If you know that you will be spending a lot of time out in the sun throughout the course of the day, there’s a handful of preventive measures that you can take so that you don’t have to make a visit to the E.R. Here are a few of them:
- Be sure to take it easier during the hottest parts of the day
- Keep up with fluids by drinking plenty of liquids
- Protect your skin against sunburn
- Don’t ever leave your child in a car
- Never exercise or work out in the heat alone
Heat exhaustion caused by the summer heat is not something that anyone should take lightly. Be sure to treat the symptoms immediately and get out of the heat so that your condition doesn’t worsen. Once you’ve experienced heat exhaustion or heat stroke, your body will be more sensitive to heat for a while.
If thermometers become available please get one, I didn’t buy a fancy one. This is the one I bought: Thermometer
Again, if you suspect that someone is experiencing heat stroke, don’t wait around for their conditions to improve because they likely won’t. Call 911 immediately! What questions do you have about Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke? May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Deposit photos_270825486_s-2019