ALBANY, N.Y. - Heat-related illnesses account for hundreds of deaths each year, but are easily prevented. As temperatures soar, Albany Medical Center's Department of Emergency Medicine offers tips to beat the heat.
Here are tips to protect yourself and others from the heat:
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water, particularly if you are engaged in strenuous activity.
- Ventilate. If you do not have access to air conditioning, stay indoors with the windows open and use a fan.
- Cover Up. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Lighter colors will reflect the sun. If you feel yourself overheating, remove any items covering the head or those that trap heat close to the body.
- Limit Activity. Avoid exercise or strenuous activity if possible. If you feel yourself becoming overheated or dizzy, stop to rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water.
- Look out for others. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Check on neighbors and keep an eye on children to make sure they are cool and hydrated.
According to Albany Med heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most serious forms of heat-related illness, and both can be fatal. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Fatigue or weakness
- Cold, clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can quickly progress to heat stroke, marked by unconsciousness.
If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately and attempt to lower their body temperature by moving them to a cool place or wrapping them with cool towels.