Safety Tips: Heat Illness
Heat-related illnesses aren’t just a summer hazard. People exercise in steamy gyms, wearing heavy clothes in order to sweat more. Sailors work in hot shipboard workspaces.
- Know how to recognize the three most common types of heat-related illness: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps.
- Heat strokes are the most severe, are can be fatal. Symptoms include a temperature to as high as 105 degrees; hot, red, and dry skin; a rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing.
- As first aid for a heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Wrap damp sheets around the victim and start fanning them. Wrap cold packs in a cloth and place them on the victim’s wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck.
- Victims of heat exhaustion will have a normal temperature, but will have other symptoms: cool, moist, pale skin; heavy sweating; headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness.
- Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that result form intense exertion. Cramps most often attack the abdomen and legs.
- To avoid heat illnesses:
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing,
- Drinking plenty of water,
- Take regular breaks,
- Eating small meals.