Tag Archives: health alert

Heat-Related Illness

What is it?
How is it treated?
What can we do to avoid it?

Heat-Related Illnesses include Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps and Heat Rash.  Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, a very high body temperature, and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating.  Heat exhaustion symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, elevated body temperature, and decreased urine output.  Heat cramps are muscle pains that usually arise from physical work in a hot environment. Heat rash is the most common heat-related condition. It is caused by sweating and looks like raised red dots.

Treatment of Heat Related Illnesses varies upon the symptoms and severity. Heat Stroke is a medical emergency that can result in death. Call 9-1-1 immediately. While waiting, move the victim to a shaded, cool area, remove outer clothing, apply cold water to the body, and keep the person cool until the ambulance arrives.   Heat Exhaustion is also a serious condition, and the victim should be evaluated at a clinic or emergency room, or 9-1-1 should be called.  The victim should be given cool liquids to drink, cool compresses applied to the head, neck, and face. Heat cramps should be treated by providing water and a snack, or sports drinks. Medical help should be provided if the victim has heart problems or the cramps do not subside in an hour. Heat rash should be treated by removing the worker to a cooler and less humid environment, if possible, and keeping the rash area dry.

Avoidance of heat-related illnesses can be difficult during the summer months.  All employees who are working in an outdoor or un-cooled indoor environment should have regular breaks in shaded areas with cool water provided, and be encouraged to eat regular meals.  Light, loose clothing and decreased physical activity during the hottest part of the day is also recommended.

Current health risk assessment:  High/ Summer Months