Friday, September 23, officially marks the first day of fall, but those of us in Florida don’t get to enjoy the cool weather just yet. With temperatures still reaching the 90s, it’s important to make sure everyone is educated about the potential risk of heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion may occur after being exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time. Signs of heat exhaustion typically include headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, excessive sweating, and a rapid heartbeat.

Anyone showing symptoms of heat exhaustion should immediately get out of the heat. Even though heat exhaustion is not as serious as other heat-related illnesses, it can progress to heat stroke, if not treated properly.

Here are some recommended approaches for treating heat exhaustion:

  • Get out of the heat.
  • Drink lots of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
  • Take a cool shower.
  • Avoid doing strenuous activity.

If these strategies don’t provide relief within 30 minutes, contact a doctor.

If you know you will be outdoors in the heat for a long time, follow these tips to prevent heat exhaustion:

  • When spending lots of time in the heat, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen and avoid getting sunburns.
  • Drink extra fluids. It’s recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
  • Take extra precautions and drink even more fluids when exercising or working outdoors.

For further information about heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses, click here

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