You’re Hot! Temperature-wise.

The effects of overheating yourself can come upon you suddenly.  So while enjoying the outdoors is usually beneficial for you physically, mentally, and socially, you should be prudent about how warm it is and listen to your body.

We Suddenly Solos sometimes find it hard to admit that we are “tired” when we are with friends or on a date and this can lead to trouble when the fatigue you are feeling is due to the heat.  Don’t try to “tough it out” as it can result in far more embarrassment than admitting to your discomfort.

Here are some heat-related issues with their symptoms and recommended remedial steps:

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.

Symptoms

  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

First Aid

  • Sit or lie down in a cool place when you begin to feel symptoms.
  • Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports beverage.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are those who are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working/recreating in a hot environment.

Symptoms

  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing

First Aid

  • Rest in a cool, shaded, or air-conditioned area.
  • Drink plenty of water or other cool, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • If possible, take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Symptoms

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

First Aid

  • Call 911.
  • Move the person to a cool shaded area.
  • Cool the person using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water.
    • Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
    • Fanning their body.

Many of us Suddenly Solos remember taking “salt tablets” as a precaution against heat-related problems.  These days, it is NOT recommended that you take them unless you are advised by a physician to do so.  You can better handle heat issues by staying hydrated with sports-type drinks to replenish minerals lost by perspiration.

 

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