Heat exhaustion (hypothermia) is a condition that is not life threatening. However, it could turn into serious illness or heat stroke if you ignore the symptoms.
You know you have heat exhaustion if the following symptoms occur:
- Headache, thirst, pale/clammy skin
- Muscle cramps
- Heavy sweating and thirst
- Dizziness, fainting, or nausea
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rising body temperature (up to 104 degrees)
You can prevent or get rid of heat exhausting using one or more of the following tips:
- Drink some water. This will help prevent you from becoming too tired while in the sun. It will also prevent you from experiencing any of the other above symptoms of heat exhaustion.
- User water to cool off your body. You can poor it on you, or if you have a water sprayer nearby use that. You could also just go swimming or bath in cool water.
- Seek shelter or sit in a shaded area. Spend some time indoors in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned room, or sit under a tree. Some parks even have pavilions or tents you can stand or sit under
- Keep your body nourished. On the hottest days of the year especially, you would benefit from eating foods with plenty of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. Some of the most important anti-heat exhausting nutrients include magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Sea vegetables, seeds, bananas, spinach, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, and molasses are some foods that have these nutrients present in them.
- Seek herbal relief. With caution, certain herbs can be very helpful. For instance, willow bark works great for reducing fever and exhaustion. However, children under 16 should not use it because it can cause Reye’s syndrome.
It should also not be used if you are allergic to aspirin. If you can handle using elder flower or cayenne pepper those would be more options for you. The elder flower you can combine with peppermint leaf to treat fever/exhaustion, and the cayenne can help lower body temperatures.
- Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day. During the summer, the sun usually burns the hottest from the late morning to mid-afternoon (approximately 11 a.m. To 3 p.m.). You should stay inside or in the shade during these times. Save your yard work and/or plan family reunions and other fun summer outings in the afternoon or early evening.
- See medical attention if your symptoms worsen. For instance, if you have checked your body temperature a few times and the temperature of it continues to rise (especially if above 104 degrees), call for help. Either dial 911 or call a local medical emergency hotline. Do not wait too long in this case, or you could end up suffering a heat stroke.
- Wear loose clothing and a hat, and some sunscreen. This will help let the air travel through your body while you are in the sun. The hat will help keep your face and body from being burned. The sunscreen can reduce chance of getting sunburned, so as not to complicate matters while avoiding heat exhaustion.
- If you are inside, close the shades and/or windows. Closing the windows is especially necessary if you are running a cooling system in your home (air conditioner or central air). Closing the curtains is important if you want to keep out the heat from the sun but yet still allow the windows open for air circulation.