Thursday, February 22, 2024

Southlake Summer Safety: Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

You don’t have to be a weather expert to know it is hot outside. With temperatures soaring and summer only halfway through, we have a few more safety tips to beat the heat.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a leisurely day outside, especially with fun activities such as Stars and Stripes and the Fourth of July just around the corner. Whether you are visiting Bicentennial Park, fishing at the Bob Jones Fishing Pier, playing at the Chesapeake Park playground, or hiking at the Nature Center, with the summer temperatures often rising into the triple digits, it’s important to stay vigilant of heat-related safety risks.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common risks during outdoor activities in high temperatures. As you plan your Independence Day activities and summer outings, ensure you know the difference between the two to stay safe in Southlake.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a response to excessive sweating due to high temperatures. It’s often a precursor to heat stroke and occurs when the body overheats and dehydrates. If you experience heat exhaustion, you may feel fatigued, dizzy, nauseated, sweat excessively, and get a headache.

Heat Stroke
This severe condition occurs when the body loses its ability to control its temperature and cannot cool down. It is a serious heat-related illness that requires immediate medical attention. Heat stroke symptoms include confusion or altered mental status, loss of consciousness, profuse sweating, seizures, and very high body temperature.

While recognizing the symptoms of these two heat-related illnesses is vital, knowing how to prevent them is just as important. Here are some steps to stay safe during the hot summer months.

  • Hydration is Key– Drinking enough water throughout the day is vital to stay hydrated. This includes drinking water before, during, and after outdoor activities.
  • Stay in the Shade– Seek out shady areas to decrease direct exposure to the heat. Take breaks often and plan your activities in the mornings or evenings.
  • Layer lightly– protect your skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight. Glasses and hats add an extra layer of protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen– apply and reapply generously as you spend time outdoors.
  • Don’t overdo it– listen to your body and look out for any heat-related illness symptoms.

Knowing the difference between these common heat-related illnesses and following these prevention tips can help you stay safe in Southlake this summer.

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