Your heart is racing, you can’t catch your breath you feel dizzy…no, I’m not talking about being in love 😉 I am talking about heat exhaustion. And I’ve seen it first-hand. Last weekend my daughter played a full 80 minute soccer game in the 85 degree, humid climate. Three of the girls came off the field crying, unable to catch their breath – one of them being my daughter, who gave us the scare of our lives as we waited for her to regulate her breathe outside of the Morristown ER.
Warmer weather = more outdoor activity/workouts. Often, our bodies are not yet acclimated to the fluctuation in temperature, especially when it’s 40 degrees one day and 85 the next.
A high heat index, coupled with strenuous physical activity, can be the perfect combination for a heat exhaustion episode. Humidity levels of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which leads to your body overheating and being unable to cool itself. Heat exhaustion can occur from water or salt depletion and can includes symptoms such as:
- excessive thirst
- rapid heart beat
- loss of consciousness
- profuse sweating
- goose bumps in the heat
- muscle cramps
When heat exhaustion goes awry and is not treated, it can lead to heat stroke – which is a whole other level of seriousness as it can damage the brain and other vital organs, possibly even lead to death.
How do I relieve heat exhaustion?
It is essential to get out of the heat immediately and try to cool off your body and rest. Drink plenty of fluids, remove any tight or restrictive clothing, take a cool shower or bath and apply cool towels and/or air.
How do I avoid heat exhaustion?
One of the most important things you can do is listen to your body. If you feel yourself getting overheated, stop all activity and try to get to a cool place. You should also try to wear loose fitting clothing, stay out of direct sun, avoid caffeine and alcohol, drink lots of fluids and let your body acclimate to the heat.
Be careful! Heat exhaustion is not something to be taken lightly – for you or your children.
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