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Warning Signs of
Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Including tips on preventing heat exhaustion to protect your good health.

Sun & Heat Exhaustion

One of our relatives got into some really bad trouble a few years ago when she misjudged the power of the sun. And unfortunately, she was no match against its super powers.

She and her husband were visiting the desert and she decided to take a nature hike. Without realizing it, she had walked too far - without a hat, without water or an umbrella - just the bald-open sun. And it was at the hottest part of the day when the sun was zenith in the sky.

Bless her heart - she became so ill that she fainted. Her story ended well and she learned her lesson, unfortunately the hard way. She knew the dangers; she simply underestimated her own resolve against the powers of the sun.

The bad news is that heat exhaustion can be a killer.

The great news is that it is preventable by following a few simple steps - things that our dear relative will always make savvy use of in the future when challenged by that red rubber ball in the sky:

Plan ahead when your day is centered amid the elements of heat.

We are no match for Mother Nature. Always carry sufficient water, and plan your activities in the coolest part of the day such as early morning or late evening.

Be sure to protect your head from the heat whether it be in the form of a hat or umbrella. The hat should be adequately lined - not paper thin, so that it blocks as much heat as possible.

And because our heads produce quite a lot of heat on their lonesome, lift up the hat to remove penned-up heat every now and then.

Be sure that your hat as well as the rest of your attire is light colored - even your socks and shoes, or hiking boots. Dark colors draw heat as does concrete and sand.

Rushing serves to intensify heat, so move slowly in hot weather.

Sports drinks can assist in maintaining and restoring electrolyte balance. Your electrolytes include: sodium, potassium and calcium.

Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

The signs of heat exhaustion appear differently in adults and children, particularly in very small children who may be unable to convey their distress. In children, watch for the following:

- when crying, no tears
- diapers remain dry
- dry mouth and tongue
- sunken tummy, sunken eyes, sunken cheeks
- listlessness

Adults may experience the following warning signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

- confusion, feeling light-headed, foggy thoughts
- headache
- dry skin, hot skin, fever, no sweating*
- thirst

If the above warning signs of heat exhaustion occur, get out of the heat immediately into cooler quarters. If symptoms do not quickly moderate, seek emergency help.

* In the event of no sweating, seek emergency help immediately, regardless of the condition of the individual.

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