When the temperatures start to rise in the summertime, so can the number of heat-related emergency situations. In fact, a Science of The Total Environment study found that heat was linked to an increase in emergency room visits. Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are common cases that end up in the emergency room, too. However, many of these situations if the right measures are taken.
To prevent sunburn and long-lasting damage, wear protective gear, such as hats and sunglasses that block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Also, be aware of when it’s time to stay out of the sun completely. For instance, if there are blisters on the skin or if the skin is warm, red or painful, it’s time to go indoors at least until the sunburn heals.
Anyone who plans to be out in the sun for long stretches of time, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is typically its hottest, should use a broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or greater to guard against sunburn.
One of the quickest ways to experience a heat-related illness is by not staying hydrated. Without adequate water, the body can easily become dehydrated. People can lose fluid from sweating in the hot sun, too. It’s important to take in enough fluids to prevent dehydration and other heat-related illnesses. Water should be consumed daily and consumption of water should be increased when more daily activities are involved.
Rest during the hottest parts of the day. Schedule exercise or physical labor in the early morning or evening. If you can’t avoid activity during this time, drink fluids and take breaks frequently in a cool or shaded spot.
Know When to Call for Help
Some common heat stroke signs include:
- a strong, fast pulse
- passing out
- skin that is damp, dry, hot or red
There are some situations that require immediate attention so it’s vital to know when to call for help. Individuals that see signs of heat stroke should seek help right away. The ER on Soncy is a free-standing emergency room equipped to treat everything from sprains to fractures 24/7/365.