The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clear that People aged 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems. This is often due to medical conditions and prescription medications that can impact how your body responds to heat. Additionally, older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
To avoid heat-related health problems check out these tips:
- Go shopping, to the movies or pick up a book at the library—all of these places offer a great opportunity to get out of the house and into some air conditioning.
- Stay hydrated—remember to drink water often and do not wait until your thirsty to drink. You may even want to consider sports drinks that help replace electrolytes when you sweat.
- Try not to cook or turn on the oven.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down
- Stay in touch with your family and meet your neighbors. Staying connected can be life saving if you have a serious medical event.
Below are some signs and symptoms of heatstroke:
- High body temperature. A core body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher, obtained with a rectal thermometer, is the main sign of heatstroke.
- Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
- Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.
- Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
- Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- Your head may throb.
(Source: Mayo Clinic)
If you think you or another person may be experience heatstroke, seek medical help immediately—call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number. Try to get that person out of the sun, remove excess clothing and cool them down by any means available.
Stay cool, stay healthy and have a wonderful summer!
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