With summer full swing, precautions and warning signs need to be taken when it comes to the outside temperatures. You may be in a truck or vehicle most of the day with air conditioning but there may be times you are outside, unloading or loading, taking a break, or trying to get some activity outside. Your body works all the time to maintain proper temperature. In hot weather, it is working to cool itself, typically through sweating and the evaporation that occurs. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real things that are dangerous to your health or others’ so let’s look at what they are and how to avoid them.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Drenching sweats accompanied with goosebumps and clammy skin
- Slowed or weakened heartbeat
- Low blood pressure upon standing
Heat exhaustion is serious and some ways to avoid or reverse exhaustion are drinking liquids such as water or something that contains electrolytes, changing into breathable and lighter clothes, shading yourself outside or in an air-conditioned place and resting.
Things you can do to prevent heat exhaustion:
- Wear lightweight, breathable clothing
- Protect against sunburn
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take precautions with medications you take
- Never sit in a parked vehicle that is turned off
- Limit time outside
- Be cautious if you have increased risks of heat-related problems
Heat Stroke is brought on after heat exhaustion and symptoms include:
- High body temperature of 104 or higher
- Altered mental state or behavior
- Alteration in sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushed skin
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart rate
If heat stroke occurs, get medical attention IMMEDIATELY for you or for who you may see experiencing the signs. Heat stroke can quickly damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. Waiting for help can cause permanent damage or death. So take the heat seriously!
As you are traveling, be sure to take the proper precautions. You may think of getting more breathable and lightweight clothes to wear, keeping a hat in your vehicle, stocking extra water with you, and importantly checking up on the maintenance of your vehicle (especially the air conditioning and making sure it is going to keep pumping cool air). Keep in mind any health conditions you might have that may exasperate more easily as well. Also, keep in communication with others so they know how you are doing if you’re by yourself. Try to stay cool!