Fun in the sun is the normal for many people, especially during the warm months. Whether you are running, walking or just working outside, it is very important to pay attention to your body and how you are feeling.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two issues caused by exposure to high temperatures and sun. They can be very dangerous and lead to death if not attended to. According to the CDC, hot temperatures and humidity kills over 600 people each year. In order to protect yourself you must know the difference between the two and the symptoms to watch out for.
Heat exhaustion is less serious but can develop into something bad very quickly. Heat exhaustion symptoms start with muscle cramps, rapid heart beat, weakness, dizziness, headaches and fainting.
Heat stroke usually starts off with exhaustion symptoms. As heat stroke worsens the body temperature climbs above 104 degrees, racing heart, confusion, slurred speech and even coma can become your immediate problem. The 2 types of heat stroke are exertional, which happens when people are outside in the sun working or exercising and non-exertional, which occurs when people are in a hot house or car. As the temperatures climb without relief, heat stroke can become deadly very quickly. Older people, very young and sick people are at the highest risk. If you ever have any symptoms of heat stroke, get to the doctor right away. It only takes a couple hours for the organs to become damaged and shut down. If you are feeling over heated get to the shade, drink plenty of cold fluids, run cold water over your body or get to a cool room. While these “fun in the sun” dangers are not new, you must be cautious of becoming very sick very fast. This also holds true for pets and animals. Plenty of cool water and shade is a necessity when the temperatures start to climb. In the end, a little common sense when you are outside in the sun or in a hot confined area can be the difference between life and death.