WOODSTOCK – With temperatures expected to remain high this week, the McHenry County Department of Health reminds residents to take preventive actions during hot weather to avoid heat-related illness.
Here are signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses:
• Dehydration: Occurs when more water leaves the body than is put in. Stay well hydrated throughout the day and drink extra fluids when exercising or being outdoors on hot days.
• Heat exhaustion: Symptoms may include headaches, weak pulse, rapid pulse, excessive sweating, dizziness, and in some instances fainting, clammy skin, chills, cold, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps or very fast or very shallow breathing. Take action immediately to cool down. If possible, immerse yourself in cool water.
• Heat stroke: Victims have warm skin that is dry to the touch because they’ve sweated out all their extra water, leaving the body’s natural cooling system without a key cool-down mechanism. High fever, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a strong, rapid pulse all accompany heat stroke. Victims may become confused and can lose consciousness. Cool the victim; seek medical assistance.
Some tips to stay cool:
• Wear light-weight clothing that has plenty of ventilation (the fabric should “breathe”). Stay well hydrated. Be sure to provide pets with water and shade when outside as well.
• Exercise or schedule other strenuous activities when the heat and humidity are lowest, in the early morning and late evenings.
• Rest in cool, shady places frequently. If you’re hot, go cool down – get indoors, drink cool liquids, enjoy the air conditioning for a few minutes, or take a cold shower.
• Watch out for those at greatest risk – very young children, persons with health conditions such as the elderly, as well as pets. Young children should never be left in cars, even for short periods of time. Certain medications may put you at greater risk of heat-related illnesses so be aware of how medications may interact with the heat.
For information, visit www.mcdh.info.