Summer Safety: Heat-Related Illnesses

Jul 3, 2012

You've been hearing about the record-breaking heat in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. It's not quite as hot here, but hot enough to cause heat-related illnesses. 

Summer is the time for "fun in the sun." That means more people will be outside in the heat. Health officials are reminding people to be safe about it.

Heat-related illnesses like heat stress, exhaustion, and stoke are more common in these hotter temperatures. 

Polk County Health Department spokeswoman Pam Crain said, "People should be cautious when they're doing outside activities during the heat especially now when temperatures starting to rise and people getting outside like for our Fourth of July holiday that's coming up." 

 It's important to keep these things in mind to prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • limit being outside to the morning and evening hours
  • wear light clothing
  • use sunscreen/sunglasses
  • do not leave children and pets in unattended cars
  • rest often in the shade or air conditioning

Signs for heat exhaustion can vary but it could include the following:

  • fast, shallow breathing
  • fast, weak pulse
  • weakness/tiredness
  • fainting/dizziness
  • moist, cool skin
  • muscle cramps