Baby, it's hot outside! Complaining about the weather seems like a national pastime. But in places where the mercury's soaring, these aren't just empty complaints. Heat and humidity aren't only uncomfortable - they can be downright dangerous if you don't take the proper precautions.
The elderly, young children, and people with existing respiratory problems like asthma and other health conditions are especially susceptible to illness as a result of the heat and pollution. Some medications can also raise your risk of heat-related illness.
But even healthy individuals face increased health risks when the temperatures climb. The risks are even greater when it's humid because humidity decreases your body's ability to cool itself off through sweating.
Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and - the worst of the bunch - heat stroke. Heat cramps are cramps caused by a loss in electrolytes from sweating. Heat exhaustion, which can be a precursor to heat stroke, is when your body's natural cooling system breaks down, causing your body temperature to rise. This can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat.
Heat exhaustion can be treated by loosening your clothes, moving to a cool place, and drinking extra fluid. Left untreated, it can develop into heat stroke, which is when the body's temperature climbs above 41°C. Heat stroke can be deadly, so if symptoms develop, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms include confusion or delirium, fever greater than 41°C, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and unconsciousness.
But these conditions can be prevented, so long as you take precautions when temperatures soar. So, other than moving to the Yukon, how can you beat the heat?
These tips can help you stay cool and safe:
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