Along with the fun and adventure of the warm summer months comes the invisible risk of heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can strike any gender or age group and occurs when the body overheats. Physical exertion paired with high temperatures can be a recipe for heat exhaustion to strike. The formula is made more risky in conditions of high humidity. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s natural cooling mechanism of sweating becomes overwhelmed and can no longer properly cool the body back to its standard core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. There are physical symptoms that can clue a person into knowing when they are potentially experiencing heat exhaustion. The skin often becomes moist and exhibits goose bumps. The affected person many experience profuse sweating, and a weakened pulse. The person will often feel dizziness, headache, faintness, and nausea.
If any of these symptoms are experienced or heat exhaustion is suspected, it is essential to stop activity and give your body a recuperation period or the heat exhaustion could progress to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. After ceasing physical activity, the person should then retire to a shaded, cool place to sit or recline. It is recommended to drink cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes. If a thermometer is available, the person should check their body temperature and if it exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it is advisable to seek professional medical help. If body temperature is under that limit, rest should be observed and the progress of symptoms should be monitored. If the person does not have a reversion of symptoms within an hour, it is advisable to seek professional medical treatment. Ways to avoid reaching the point of heat exhaustion include avoiding alcohol consumption in hot weather or while performing physically exerting tasks and staying properly hydrated. Light, breathable attire can also prevent your body from overheating.