Stay Cool

MANY AREN’T AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE

Stay-CoolWalking along the sandy shore, splashing in the waves, boating in Calibogue Sound – adventures abound in the Lowcountry. But it’s important to be aware that sunburn isn’t the only risk from spending hours outdoors. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke also can cause problems. Heat exhaustion happens when the body overheats. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms include:

  • • Heavy sweating
  • • Rapid pulse
  • • Dizziness
  • • Fatigue
  • • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • • Muscle cramps
  • • Dark urine
  • • Nausea
  • • Headache

Rest and hydrate in a cool area if you experience these symptoms. If symptoms don’t improve in an hour, seek medical attention. Take a cool bath or shower or use a wet towel to cool off. Children younger than 4, adults older than 65 and people with serious health conditions are most vulnerable.

Heat stroke may develop following heat exhaustion. It occurs when the body’s temperature rises and its cooling system stops working. This life-threatening medical emergency is characterized by:

  • • A temperature of 104 degrees or higher
  • • Hot, dry skin
  • • Racing heartbeat
  • • Confusion
  • • Agitation
  • • Slurred speech
  • • Vomiting
  • • Seizures
  • • Loss of consciousness
  • • Coma

If any of these symptoms develop, immediately seek medical attention.