These high summer temperatures can cause big problems. Heat-related illnesses can knock you down before you even realize what hit you. Getting overheated can even cause permanent damage.
Many of us will spend a lot of time outside this 4th of July, so it’s important to know, and pay attention to, the signs of heat-related illness.
The tell-tale signs that you need to stop and cool off are: headache, nausea, dizziness, and possibly abdominal cramps and confusion.
Be sure to keep an extra close eye on your children as the temperatures climb.
Dr. Ashley Davis with Providence Medical Group told News 5, “School-aged children, if their complaining of headaches, or feeling tired all of a sudden, or having cramps in their muscles, those are signs that they’re getting overheated. So you want to make sure, especially with little ones under a year old that you’re making sure they’re staying hydrated, make sure they’re sweating but not sweating too profusely, make sure their cheeks aren’t getting too red, make sure they’re not vomiting.”
Dr. Davis says you should pay close attention to how much you’re sweating.
She said, “There’s a lot of damage and danger in sweating too much because that means your body is reacting to that heat and that heat’s taking a toll on you.”
Alana McFerrin says she didn’t pay attention to the signs, and she paid the price.
She said, “We were out at Dauphin Island swimming, just a normal beach day. It wasn’t very sunny so I didn’t think anything about it. The next day I went to the doctor, I had 3rd-degree burn and sun poison.”
She told Cherish Lombard she never experienced anything like it before then.
“My whole body hurt. It hurt to touch, it hurt to walk. I was vomiting, I just felt real weak for about a week,” she said.
Her doctor told her to stay hydrated, keep her skin moisturized, get plenty of rest and stay out of the sun.
Dr. Davis says it ‘could’ve’ been much worse.
She said, “It can definitely start affecting different systems; Your nervous system. If it keeps on the heat will actually break down your muscles and can cause kidney damage, and then that can lead into heatstroke and long-term it could cause damage later on.”
These days, McFerrin says she’s much more careful and encourages all of us to enjoy our summer and 4th of July, but always be aware of the signs of getting overheated.
“Even if the suns not out you’re still going to get burnt. Even if it’s overcast. And that’s what most people don’t realize, and I was one of those,” she said.
If you or someone around you passes out, it’s important to get to your nearest E-R as quickly as possible. And when you’re outside, increase your water intake, cool off, take off extra clothing, and put a cold cloth or ice on the back of your neck as soon as you start to feel even a little dizziness, and take all precautions to keep yourself from getting to that point.