Summer is just around the corner, and this means higher temperatures – especially here in Texas. With this heat comes the potential for heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is when your body overheats in response to external factors, such as high temperature and lack of air-conditioning. It can happen to anyone, but babies, small children and older adults are more susceptible. Heat exhaustion is less severe than heatstroke, but can lead to more dangerous conditions.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include sweating profusely from many areas of the body, dizziness, a rapid or weak pulse, feeling faint or having the sense of an incoming black out, a drop in blood pressure which can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, headache, muscle cramping, nausea, or moist, cool or cold skin, coupled with goose bumps, even in extreme heat.
Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to prevent heat exhaustion.
Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose clothing. Dark colors attract and absorb heat, increasing body temperature while heavy and tight clothing constrict around your body and trap body heat.
Apply sunscreen on your face and body if spending any amount of time in the sun. This will reduce sunburn.
Stay hydrated. Your body can become dehydrated before you notice signs, so drink plenty of fluids. It is also important to start hydrating BEFORE you go out into the heat, not just after.
Stay in a cool place when the temperature rises. The best place has air-conditioning, however, if you have to be outside, find a shaded or cool area. This is especially important during the hottest parts of the day: noon to 4 p.m.
Limit outdoor activities such as workouts and walks to the early morning hours or late evening hours. Swimming is a great way to get exercise while staying cool.
Stay safe out there!