Understanding Heat-Related Illness

It is important to stay cool in the summer to avoid any heat-related illness.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

As we transition from the breezy spring days into the sizzling summer heat, we must consider the potential risks of rising temperatures. Among these risks are the increased chance of obtaining heat-related illnesses. This article aims to share knowledge about these conditions, how to prevent them, and what to do if someone shows signs of overheating.

Understanding Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat-related illnesses occur when the body cannot properly cool itself, leading to a dangerous rise in body temperature. These conditions range in severity from mild symptoms, such as heat rash and cramps, to more severe conditions, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat rash is a skin irritation characterized by clusters of small, red bumps on the skin. A rash is often in areas where sweat fails to evaporate, like the chest, groin, and elbow creases. Heat cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments. Heat exhaustion can develop after prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate replacement of fluids. Think of working in an attic for several hours without a break during the middle of July in Arizona. Brutal! Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and is a medical emergency. A heat stroke can occur when the body temperature rises to 104°F or higher. Symptoms may include confusion, fainting, seizures, a high body temperature, and hot, dry skin.

The Dangers of Heat

Overheating can put a severe strain on the body. In the short term, overheating can lead to discomfort, reduced physical and mental performance, and symptoms of heat-related illness. If left untreated, it can progress to heat stroke. This ailment can cause damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles and may even be fatal.

While anyone can fall victim to heat-related illnesses, certain groups, like younger children, older adults, athletes, and outdoor workers, are more susceptible. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, are at risk of becoming ill and should take extra precautions during periods of extreme heat.

Practicing precaution is vital to avoid anything fatal from occurring. Preventive action remains significant, and here are some critical tips you can take to prevent getting burned by heat-related illness:

Stay Hydrated: If you do not feel thirsty, you still must drink plenty of fluids, especially water, at regular intervals. If you engage in physical activity in hot conditions, take breaks in a cool area so your body can recover. Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These foods can help replenish the water and electrolytes lost through sweating.

Dress Appropriately: You must wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to reflect heat and allow for sweat evaporation. Protect your skin by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to reapply it every two hours or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.

Plan Your Activities: Do your best to schedule outdoor activities during cooler weather, like early morning or late evening. Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat advisories, and don’t underestimate the power of the summer sun. You’ll thank me later.

Recognize the Signs: Be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness and take action as soon as they appear.

If you notice someone who is showing signs of a heat-related illness, take immediate action:

  • Move the person to a cool place, preferably an indoor setting with air conditioning.
  • Encourage the person to drink cool (not cold), non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Apply cool, damp cloths to the skin.
  • If symptoms worsen or the person becomes unconscious, call for professional medical help immediately!

Staying informed and prepared remains the best way to stay safe and healthy during summer. With the correct precautions, we can all enjoy the best that summer offers without risking our health. If you want to read about how to have a great 4th of July celebration, click here.

Have Health Insurance Questions?

We hope that this information on heat-related illness is helpful for you.

Insurance is oftentimes overwhelming, and we want to shed light on the industry by answering your questions. Comment below and your question may be the topic of our next post!

If you liked this article, share it with your friends!

Empower Brokerage wants to help you find the insurance coverage you need and help you save money getting it.  Stay on top of your health and give us a call at (844) 410-1320.

Get affordable health insurance quotes by clicking here.

See our other websites:




About Jose Lerma

Jose has been a career agent working with Empower Brokerage since 2021 helping clients from all walks of life find tailored solutions for their healthcare needs. He is passionate about helping people fulfill their dreams and helping clients live a more empowered existence. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *