Florida’s Centra Care locations are seeing a rapid increase in the number of patients suffering from heat-related illness. The doctors at Centra Care want you to understand the dangers of overheating your body.
Usually, sweating is how your body cools off, but sometimes sweating might not be enough — especially for higher-risk groups like: children under 4, seniors over age 65, and people who are overweight. When heat exhaustion is left untreated, it can lead to heat stroke, which can be deadly.
By the time a person needs to seek medical treatment for heat exhaustion, they are typically already suffering mild dehydration and noticing lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fatigue.
The most important step in avoiding heat exhaustion is prevention.
Most of the patients being treated for it at Centra Care have been adults. Physicians attribute this to the fact that parents are good about taking care of their children, but tend to not take as good care of themselves.
Follow this advice to prevent a heat-related illness:
When working or playing outdoors take breaks in the shade frequently. This will help prevent heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you suspect heat exhaustion, get the affected person out of the sun to a cool spot. Lay them down, elevate feet slightly and loosen clothing. Place a cold pack on the neck or head and give them cold, but not iced water. See a doctor if the problems persist.
It’s extremely important to drink plenty of water or sport-drinks to remain hydrated.