Tips for Preventing Heat Illnesses

July 30, 2022

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it's important to take precautions against heat illnesses. AFC Urgent Care Short Hills is here to help with minor to moderate symptoms of heat illnesses. If you find yourself with dehydration symptoms this summer, visit our center for quick rehydration. We're open seven days a week, so visit us for weekend urgent care!

Here are some easy ways to stay safe and healthy in the summer heat.

What is a Heat Illness?

A heat illness is a health problem that can occur when your body gets too hot. Heat illnesses always start off minor, but, without proper precautions, can quickly become life-threatening. 

What are the Symptoms of a Heat Illness?

The symptoms of a heat illness can vary depending on the type of illness. The most common symptoms include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Dark urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Sweating more than usual

If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, do what you can to cool down and seek medical help if needed.

Tips for Preventing Heat Illness

1. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water

2. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing

3. Stay in the shade when possible

4. Take frequent breaks if you're working or playing outdoors

5. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher

6. Check on elderly relatives and neighbors who may be at risk for heat illnesses

What are the Different Types of Heat Illnesses?

There are four main types of heat illness: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sunburn.

Heat cramps are muscle pains that can occur after strenuous activity in hot weather. They are the mildest form of heat illness and can be treated by resting in a cool place and drinking fluids.

Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition and it can occur when you lose too much fluid from sweating. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, and tiredness. If left untreated, heat exhaustion will lead to heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that is considered the most severe heat-related illness. It occurs when your body temperature is higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms include confusion, seizures, and unconsciousness. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Sunburn is a type of skin damage that can occur after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Symptoms include red, painful skin that is warm to the touch. Sunburn increases the risk for skin cancer, so it's important to protect your skin from the sun.

Heat illnesses are no joke and can range in severity from mild to life-threatening, so it's important to take some precautions to avoid them. If you want more information on preventing heat illness or would like some help putting a plan together, AFC Short Hills can help. We have medical providers who are ready to work with you to make sure that you are safe during the hottest days of the year.

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