August 21: Too hot to handle: the risks of hyperthermia

With hot summer weather comes the need to take certain summer health precautions—especially when it comes to regulating your body temperature.

 

Much like hypothermia (when body temperature dips too low), hyperthermia happens when body temperature spikes to abnormally high levels. Heat fatigue, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all common or advanced forms of hyperthermia, and all of them can be life-threatening if warning signs are ignored or not treated properly.

 

SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR:

  • Body temp exceeds 104 degrees
  • Sudden changes in behavior, such as confusion, agitation, grouchiness
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heavy breathing or rapid pulse
  • Not sweating, even if it’s hot
  • Fainting

 

WHAT TO DO:

  • Get out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned, or cool place
  • Lie down
  • Apply cold, wet cloths to the wrists, neck, armpit, and/or groin
  • Shower, bathe, or sponge off with cool water
  • Drink fluids such as water, fruit, or vegetable juices, but avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • If symptoms persist or worsen, seek immediate medical attention

 

 

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