Who is most at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
The very young and the elderly
Infants and children younger than 4 and adults older than 65 are at the highest risk of heat exhaustion. The body’s ability to regulate its temperature isn’t fully developed in the young and may be reduced by illness, medications or other factors in older adults.
How can I tell the difference??
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Stay cool when temps are high!!!
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.
• Protect against sunburn. Sunburns affect your body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature (avoid alcohol).
• Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
• Never leave anyone (including pets) in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.
• It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
• Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
• Get acclimated. Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
• Be cautious if you’re at increased risk. If you take medications or have a condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services available in case of a heat emergency.
• Check on your elderly family members and neighbors.