Heat emergencies Part 1

Summer is quickly coming and while our prequel to summer temps in NH is over this is a good time to get ready for the heat of summer and keeping ourselves and our kids safe in higher temps.

Heat emergencies are when our bodies get overheated. This probably happens to a lot of us quite frequently in the warmer months. The trick is to recognize the symptoms and take action before a true emergency develops. There are two types of heat emergencies; heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is when we move beyond just feeling overheated. We begin to feel flushed, hot and very sweaty. Kids will begin to look very hot with reddish and sweaty skin. We begin to feel very weak, lethargic and sometimes irritable. Our kids may seem sleepy or develop upset stomachs. To treat this we need quick but gentle cooling. Move to a shady and cool area. Fan yourself or your child. Placing a towel or scarf soaked in cool water on your neck, shoulders or head can also cool you down. The trick is to cool off with cool water, not ice cold water.

To avoid heat exhaustion drink plenty of water when you'll be outside for long periods of time. Take frequent breaks in the shade when possible. Caffeinated sodas, coffee and teas are natural diuretics and can leave you dehydrated and possibly more prone to heat exhaustion.

Recognizing the signs and taking preventative measures to avoid overheating and heat exhaustion are your first steps for a healthy hot weather summer! Ignoring the signs can lead to a more serious condition, Heat Stroke, which I'll cover in my next post. Please note any heat emergency where you or your child lose consciousness, lose the ability to sweat or do not respond/act appropriately is a true heat emergency and you should contact 911

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