Hot-weather problems to avoid

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Summer’s brutal heat brings with it the dangers of deadly dehydration and other hot-weather health issues. Dr. Richard N. Bradley, associate professor of emergency medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center, says, “Don’t push it too hard. When possible, stay inside your air-conditioned homes or go to places that have A/C.”


If you notice someone acting confused and the person has been out in the hot sun, seek help immediately for any of these hot-weather problems. Be alert to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

•  Heat cramps are painful, brief muscle cramps that occur during exercise or work in a hot environment. The cramps are usually felt in the calves, thighs, abdomen, or shoulders.

•  Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is not able to maintain normal functions because of the excessive loss of body fluids and salts. In effect, the body is trying to protect itself from a greater rise in body temperature. The symptoms include heavy sweating, intense thirst, dizziness, nausea and a weak or rapid pulse.

•  Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of the body’s inability to regulate its core temperature. As the body’s water and salt supplies dwindle, its temperature rises to extreme levels. The symptoms include a body temperature above 104ºF (although heat stroke can occur at lower body temperatures), disorientation, confusion, or coma. The skin may be hot and dry or sweaty.


Drink plenty of water, no alcohol. Drink throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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