Tips for weathering a heat wave -- Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Author: PennStateHershey

And there are a few populations that are especially at risk when it comes to heat injuries, particularly the elderly. They tend to not be very resilient regarding heat injuries. The very young, less than about 4-years-old and often people on certain medications, particularly cardiac medications can have a greater tendency to have heat injuries. At the lighter end of things, people can have a heat rash, they can have heat cramps, creates cramps in the extremities and most of those don't need a -- you don't need to rush to the hospital for care regarding something like that.

That can be treated at home with, you know, cooling down and fluids. Then you get to the point of heat exhaustion, they can have some dizziness, nausea, headache and often the treatment for that is the same thing, cooling down, lots of fluids. Then they get to the more severe end with what's called heat stroke and that's when the body cannot regulate its own temperature anymore. They'll often get a temperature over 105 degrees Fahrenheit and this person will be red, their skin is red, hot, dry. They have a rapid strong heart rate.

They can have headiness -- sorry, headaches and dizziness and even go unconscious. This is a medical emergency and a person with heat stroke needs to go to the hospital immediately for care. So tips for people that need to be outside is to time when you're going to be outside, it's better to be outside early or later when it's not quite the hot time of the day. Obviously you've got to hydrate a lot. In fact a good sign of proper hydration is to look at your urine and see it doesn't turn dark yellow. If it turns dark, you're not hydrated enough. The best clothing to wear when it's hot outside is stuff that's light in color and often doesn't cling too close, kind of loose fitting clothes.

Obviously during the hotter part of the day, it's wiser to stay in an area that's air conditioned and even for people that don't have air conditioning themselves, there are heat relief shelters available in the area.

Tips for weathering a heat wave -- Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Tips for weathering a heat wave -- Penn State Hershey Medical Center

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