With summertime upon us, temperatures are getting warmer.
But with rising temperatures, there are also a few dangers to be aware of.
High temperatures are often associated with a lot of good things.
Sports, swimming, and outdoor recreation seem like great ideas in the warm summer months.
But if the temperatures get too high, this can actually end up being pretty dangerous.
CNN recently published a report describing what could be described as ‘a summer of heat-related danger.’
As it turns out, the National Weather Service has issues excessive heat advisories already this year—and things don’t look to be ‘cooling off’ anytime soon.
But why does it matter?
How do high temperatures actually pose a danger to humans?
This is a great question.
Let’s talk about it.
One potential danger that humans can face during a wave of uncharacteristically warm weather is heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a condition in which the body can’t cool itself.
Basically, it happens when the temperature rises quickly within the body, and the natural cooling mechanism (sweating) fails.
That person’s body temperature continues to rise.
In fact, temperatures can reach up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit in just the span of 15 minutes.
This is incredibly dangerous—because it can lead to disability, or even death if it isn’t addressed as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of heatstroke:
- Feeling unwell in the hot weather, even after resting and consuming liquids for 30 minutes or more
- No sweat
- Fast breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of confusion
- A loss of consciousness and/or being unresponsive
Heat exhaustion can occur when the body loses too much water or salt. This tends to happen through ‘excessive sweating.’
The symptoms of heat exhaustion are as follows:
- Elevated body temperature
What To Do If You May Be Experiencing Either Of These Conditions
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing either heat exhaustion or a heatstroke, it’s important to get emergency medical assistance as quickly as possible.
While waiting for EMS, it’s important that you try to lower the person’s temperature by getting them into a shady location and giving them water.
Prevention Is The Key
With all of this being said, it’s also true that you can do a lot to prevent these types of situations form occuring.
Try to partake of activities out in such hot weather in moderation—and make sure that you take plenty of breaks to cool off.
It’s also important to stay hydrated while participating in outdoor activities in the summer heat.
If in doubt, always play it safe.
It’s a lot better to take longer breaks in the shade while drinking water than to run the risk of suffering from a heat-related medical condition.
These conditions can be extremely dangerous.
And as temperatures continue to rise, it’ll become more and more crucial to be aware of the temperature and to take precautions as needed.
Now you know what heatstroke and heat exhaustion are caused by, and what to look for.
Stay safe out there!
And if in doubt—always err on the side of caution.
It’s better to spend a little too much time in the air conditioning than to put yourself at risk.