Environment

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Conditions & Symptoms

Condition

Cause

Symptoms

Prevention

Heat Rash

Hot, humid environment; plugged sweat glands.

Red, bumpy rash; severe itching.

Wash regularly, keeping skin clean and dry.

Heat Cramps

Heavy sweating depleting body’s salt causing painful cramps in the muscles.

May also be a sign of heat exhaustion.

Muscle pain or spasm, normally in the legs, arms or abdomen.  May be associated with activity.

Avoid strenuous activity during times of high heat and humidity. Maintain fluid levels.

The following conditions are considered more life threatening. Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are considered medical emergencies. 

Medical attention must be sought immediately if signs of fainting, heat exhaustion or heat  stroke are observed.

Fainting

Lack of blood flow to the head, causing loss of consciousness.

Cool moist skin; weak pulse.

Reduce activity levels and heat exposure.  Drink fluids regularly.

Heat Exhaustion

Inadequate salt and fluid intake causes body’s cooling system to start to break down. Body overheats but not above 40oC.

Heavy sweating; cool, moist skin; muscle cramps/pain; headache; nausea; weak pulse; normal or low blood pressure; feel faint or weak; shortness of breath; chest or abdominal pain

Reduce activity level in hot humid environments; maintain fluid levels.

Heat Stroke

Body’s salt and water is depleted; sweating stops; and body temperature rises.

High body temperature 41oC or more; red, hot and dry skin; no sweating; rapid pulse; seizures; abnormal mental status; nausea.

Reduce activity levels. Maintain fluid levels. Recognize signs and symptoms.

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