Enjoy summer temps and sun with these smart tipsWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When the hot weather sets in, so do a whole new set of ailments.
Dr. Tom Tafelski, University of Toledo Medical Center, said the center hasn’t had patients come in for heat-related illness yet, but they usually start coming in around August — often with similar stories.
“People go outside and they don’t really understand how hot it is, especially when it’s hot and it’s humid, which seems to make it even worse,” Tafelski said. “Everyone thinks they’re drinking enough, but usually they’re not …It just sort of catches up with them and they don’t realize it.”
Common signs of heat illness are weakness, headache, dizziness, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting, a worried feeling, a fast heartbeat and dehydration, according to www.familydoctor.org. Family Doctor advises people experiencing these symptoms to go somewhere cooler and drink fluids (not alcohol or caffeine).
If untreated, heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke, a potentially fatal illness. According to the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) Web site, symptoms of heat stroke include hot, dry skin, no sweating, shallow breathing, a rapid, weak pulse; and a body temperature over 104 degrees. UMHS advises people experiencing these symptoms to call 911 immediately. In the meantime, someone should move the person to a shady area, remove the person’s clothing, cover the person with a wet sheet, fan the person (preferably not with cold air) and sponge down the person’s body (especially the head) until it feels cool to the touch.
People can take several precautions to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses. Family Doctor advises people to stay indoors when the heat index is high. If they cannot, they should wear light, loose-fitting clothing; wear a hat or use an umbrella, wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or more, drink water before and during outdoor activity, and take frequent breaks from outdoor activities. Young or old age, genetics and certain medications can increase risks.