These 4 Tips Should Help To Protect Your Heart During Hot Weather

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Arkansas has recorded it’s first heat-related death of 2010 according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Due to patient confidentiality issues, no information on the victim has been released.

Arkansas, along with much of the central part of the United States has been under a heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service all week. There were seven deaths in Arkansas from heat-related causes in 2009.">Arkansas Department of Health. Due to patient confidentiality issues, no information on the victim has been released.

Arkansas, along with much of the central part of the United States has been under a heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service (NOAA) all week.

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There were seven deaths in Arkansas from heat-related causes in 2009.

Hot, humid weather can be very dangerous. The elderly, people with health problems, and very young children are the most vulnerable to heat, but anyone can be affected. It is important to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is important to stay well-hydrated, to get out of the sun, and takes rest breaks when working and playing in sun.

If you must pursue intense activity during hot weather, follow these safety tips.

  • Drink plenty of water; fluid replacement is crucial to avoid heat risks. Drink more water than usual before exercising or working in the heat. (If you are elderly or taking medication, ask your doctor about fluid intake recommendations.)
  • Schedule your strenuous activity during the coolest time of the day.
  • Monitor how you feel. If you have difficulty maintaining your regular pace, slow down.
  • Symptoms of heat-related illness include muscle and abdominal cramps, heavy (or worse – have stopped) sweating, headache, dizziness, and nausea / vomiting.

Heat related conditions include:

  1. Heat Rash Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children. Although heat rash occurs because of exposure to extreme heat, treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems such as those listed below can be much more severe.
  2. Heat Cramps Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat heavily during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt, magnesium, and water. The low salt and magnesium levels in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.
  3. Heat Exhaustion Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop in exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.
  4. Heat Stroke Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
  5. Heat-Related Deaths Most heat-related deaths occur when high temperatures overcome the body's natural ability to cope with heat. The elderly, very young children and persons with chronic medical conditions (especially cardiovascular disease) are at highest risk.

Sources
Arkansas Department of Health
Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness--CDC

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