Hot Summer Weather Alert for Children and Elderly
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So the hot summer weather alert for children and elderly in Chicago and other parts of the US was finally up in effect (we got it just this week). Just over a couple of weeks ago, I was still complaining of a spring-like weather feel;?cold, dark, and very wet! It was raining almost every day, the sun was still elusive. My seasonal affective disorder or SAD was eventually lengthened this year which I am not proud of. It was not a good feeling. I should be living in a warm sunny state like Florida, Texas or California to see a sunny day most of the year! Maybe Wealthy Affiliate can bring me there, I’m just hoping and keep my fingers crossed. I need to work more, a lot more hours to get there!
So finally, summer is really feeling like summer. It is hot! How about you there folks?
Now, we need to know…
Who Are at the Highest Risk for Heat Related Illness?
Young children (0-4 yo), elderly, disabled, and those with medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and psychological disorders. Possible reasons may include – they cannot physically remove and save themselves from the overly hot environmental situation, cannot possibly express or talk verbally about how and what they feel, and a physical condition like physical disability and obesity that limits their mobility and function. They could ?be in closed unopened cars, in high rise buildings without adequate ventilation and no ?elevators, might be homeless, and people working outside like construction workers and farmers.
The thermo regulatory function of these group of people is compromised and overloaded. Their body cannot adjust and adapt quickly with the physiologic change related to environmental factor. When humid, the person is sweating and the body cannot cool off quickly due to the presence of sweat. In other words, if the skin is wet and moist, heat cannot escape efficiently and that is the main reason the person can be easily sick with heat related condition.
Next, we have to know what are heat related illnesses. Continue reading.
Types of Heat Related Illnesses
1. Heat Cramps – the least serious category
Heat cramps are intermittent, involuntary spasms of larger muscles occurring?in people who are physically active outside in a very hot weather.?It is associated with profuse sweating and thirst.
Caused by impaired temperature control mechanisms, such as in infants, young children, and the elderly.
Treatment of heat cramps include rest, cooling the body, hydration using cool water, and stretching the muscles that are cramping. One way to stop the cramp is to do this: flex toes of affected legs upwards towards your body and hold until cramps abate.
Heat cramps can be prevented by avoiding exercise or work during the heat of the day, drinking plenty of fluids, and resting in cool or shaded areas when possible. To know more and for full details, please follow this link:?http://www.medicinenet.com/heat_cramps/article.htm#what_are_heat_cramps
2. Heat Exhaustion – ?2 types
Water depletion – signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache?and loss of consciousness.
Salt depletion– signs include nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion – confusion,?dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, pale skin, profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat.
Treatment for Heat Exhaustion -?immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room, or rest in a cool shady place. Drink plenty of fluids, do not drink coffee or alcohol.?Wear loose cotton clothing, take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath. Use fans or towels dipped in ice-cold water. If no relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke if not prevented. To know more and for full details, please follow this link:?http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion
3. Heat Stroke -?the most serious form of heat injury
Considered a medical emergency – call 911 immediately and give first aid until paramedics arrive. Can occur from progression of heat cramps to heat exhaustion.?Can results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures?and dehydration. Body’s temperature is?105 degrees Fahrenheit. Other symptoms, throbbing headache, dizziness and light-headedness, lack of sweating despite the heat, red, hot, and dry skin, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak, rapid, shallow breathing, behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering, seizures, unconsciousness
Treatment: if you suspect that someone has a heat stroke, immediately call 911 or transport the person to a hospital. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, initiate first aid. Move the person to an air-conditioned environment or at least a cool, shady area and remove any unnecessary clothing.
- Fan air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose.
- Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groins, neck, and back. These areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
- Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water, or an ice bath.
If emergency response is delayed, call the hospital emergency room for additional instructions. To know more and for full details, please follow this link:?http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-stroke-symptoms-and-treatmen.
Preventing Heat?Related Illnesses
- When the heat index is high, it’s best to stay in an air-conditioned environment.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella.
- Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
- Drink extra fluids?at least eight glasses of water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice per day.
- Take additional precautions when exercising or working outdoors. Drink 24 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, and another 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise. During exercise, consume another 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Reschedule or cancel outdoor activity, either early morning or after sunset when the heat temperature is tolerable.
To know more and for full details, please follow this link:?http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-stroke-symptoms-and-treatment
I came from the tropical island of the Philippines and I’m not used to the cold, but it does not mean that I like too much heat. In my country, the mighty umbrella is like a fashion accessory. We cannot leave home without an umbrella for 2 reasons; my country has only 2 seasons – wet and dry. The umbrella is indispensable for it rains everyday during the wet?season but on the other half of the equation, we cannot tolerate the?summer heat. That is why we carry umbrellas all throughout the year to protect us from the rain and sun. Men and women bring umbrellas to work, when shopping and even going to the beach. We also like to wear hats. This cultural practice could be a good thing though, a probable reason why I don’t see much incidence of malignant melanoma or skin cancer in my country even though the weather is?comparable to an excessive heat here in Chicago. We always stay in the shade, and we don’t bask in the sun to get a tan. We all looked tanned anyways so we don’t need it, LOL!
So just a friendly reminder?to all parents of small children and to the elderly, stay away form the sun and be mindful of the heat index. Stay indoors and in the shade, and most of all carry and use the umbrella when walking outside. Sorry, I am not imposing an Asian culture here, just do what is best for you and you do not have to agree with me about using an umbrella.
Be well and happy. Enjoy your summer the healthy way. Good health to you all!