With the heat index continuing to rise, the physicians at Greater Baltimore Medical Center are encouraging the public to know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
Children and the elderly are most susceptible to developing heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Both are caused by prolonged heat and humidity according to physicians.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle or heat cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting or fainting. Feelings of tiredness, dizziness or weakness are also common.
Heatstroke is more serious than heat exhaustion and could be life-threatening if left untreated. The victim could experience an altered mental state, a throbbing headache, a high temperature, a rapid pulse or loss of consciousness. GBMC physicians encourage the public to call for medical help immediately if someone exhibits those symptoms.
To prevent an unwanted trip to the hospital, GBMC physicians encourage you to use these tips:
- Stay hydrated
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton and a wide-brimmed hat when possible
- Protect your skin with sunscreen SPF 30 or higher
- Wear 100 percent UV-safe wrap-around sunglasses
- Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible
- Talk to your doctor about medications you are taking and how they might affect tolerance of heat
- Never leave a child, dog or disabled person in a vehicle during excessive heat periods