July in Southern Maryland often means oppressive humidity and temperatures approaching triple digits. While we might enjoy spending our time outdoors, it’s important to recognize the perils of the heat.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that more people die each year from extreme heat exposure than from lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods combined. Children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions are among those most at risk. So are those who work or exercise outdoors, those who live with inadequate cooling or ventilation, and those with breathing or circulation problems.
Our Online Health Library is full of detailed information about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including proper precautions, symptoms and how to react when you begin experiencing them.
Heat stroke often begins to manifest itself with muscle cramps, but several other symptoms can be an early warning, including moist pale skin, headache, dizziness, nausea and more.
If you experience heat stroke symptoms, cease activity immediately and find shade or air conditioning. A cool shower can help, as well.
Be safe this summer and be smart when working or exercising outdoors. Take frequent breaks, drink fluids often and, most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you.