Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can happen to anyone at any time. During the sot summer months, children and the elderly are the most susceptible. According to the Centers for Disease Control, extreme heat is now deadlier than all weather events combined in the U.S.
Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot and can’t cool down. This can turn into heatstroke, the most severe form of heat exhaustion.
Dr. John Vitali says most people who get heatstroke won’t survive if they don’t go to the hospital.
“Mortality reaching up to 60% for those who aren’t treated,” says Dr. Vitali, ER doctor for Owensboro Health.
In other words, if someone’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees after being outside, they need to go to the emergency room immediately.
“It’s worth calling an ambulance for,” says Dr. Vitality.
Being hot and flushed but not sweating is a bad sign since sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down. Although, there are other symptoms of heatstroke such as confusion, nausea, fast heart rate, and lethargic behavior.
Humidity levels reaching more than 75 percent can be a big contributor to heat exhaustion since that negates your body’s ability to sweat. If you know you are going to be outside in this kind of heat, health officials urge you to plan ahead.
“Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, you could drink extra water,” says Dr. Vitali.
One tri-state mom says there are two things she does not leave the house without during the summer.
“Sunscreen is important. And water lots of water,” says mother, Maria Roark. She says even though it’s the beginning of July, it’s already too hot for her kids to play outside. “They don’t want to be outside if they aren’t swimming because it’s really, really hot outside.”
Health professionals advise everyone to drink plenty of water. Dehydration and lack of salt contribute to heat-related illnesses.