Summer is upon us, which means an increase in outdoor temperatures. When you’re busy and focused on the task at hand, it can be easy to miss the signs of heat illness.
Heat stroke occurs when the body no longer sweats and body temperature reaches dangerous levels. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Dry, hot reddish skin and lack of sweating
- High body temperature
- Strong, rapid pulse
- Slurred speech
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to the loss of water and salt, typically through sweating. Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
- Excessive sweating
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness and/or confusion
- Clammy skin
- Muscle cramps
- Flushed complexion
10 Hot Weather Safety Tips
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluid. Drink about 16oz of water prior to working in a hot environment, and 5-7oz every 15-20 minutes thereafter.
- Avoid dehydrating liquids. Coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks can hurt more than help.
- Wear protective clothing. Lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing helps protect against heat. Change clothing if it becomes completely saturated.
- Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your own limits and ability to work safely in heat.
- Take breaks. Take time for rest and water breaks in a cooler area.
- Use a damp rag. Wipe your face or place the damp rag around your neck to keep cool.
- Avoid getting sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat if working outdoors.
- Be alert to signs of heat related illness. Make sure to review and become familiar with the symptoms listed above.
- Avoid direct sunlight. Find shade or block the sun if possible.
- Eat smaller meals. Eat fruits high in fiber and natural juice. Avoid high protein foods.