Tips to handle heatstroke or heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can rear their ugly head during the sweltering dog days of summer. To avoid getting overheated, experts recommend wearing lightweight loose-fitting clothing, seeking shade, drinking plenty of fluids and taking it easy during hot or humid weather.
If you or a loved one notice muscle cramps, dizziness, vomiting or confusion, take the heat off by following these tips:
- Immediately call 911 if there's a fever of 102 degrees or higher, rapid breathing and heart rate, or if signs of shock are apparent.
- Lie down in a cool place and elevate feet 12 inches to improve circulation and internal temperature regulation.
- Apply cold compresses to the neck, groin and armpits, and use a fan to help lower body temperature.
- Drink a half cup of a fluid like Gatorade every 15 minutes. To help replace lost salt in the body, you can also add a teaspoon of salt to a quart of water. Don't administer liquids with alcohol or caffeine as they'll hinder the body's ability to control its temperature.
- Monitor your temperature until it reaches a norm of 98.6 degrees.