Extreme Heat Tips For North Dakota Residents


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CITY, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – City County Health is reminding people to be cautious over the next several days as extreme heat will fall upon North Dakota over the next several days.

City County Health Spokeswoman Angie Martin said as a public health unit, we are always promoting the benefits of using sufficient sunscreen (SPF 30 preferably) to protect against harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer. But there are other health issues to consider also.

Including: Heat cramps: Symptoms of heat cramps include severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves or feet. You may also experience hard, tense muscles.

Heat exhaustion: Symptoms can include fatigue, nausea, headache, excessive thirst, muscle aches and cramps, weakness, confusion or anxiety, drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin, slowed or weakened heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, and/or agitation.

Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention. The person should lie down out of the sun/heat, preferably in an air-conditioned room. They should drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol), remove any tight or unnecessary clothing, take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath, and/or apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke. After someone has recovered from heat exhaustion, they will probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week, so it’s best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise.

There are two types of heat exhaustion:

Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.

Salt depletion: Signs include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Heat stroke: Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion.

If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and get medical care immediately. Any delay could be fatal.

Age can play a role in how people react to sun/heat. Heat-related illness is more likely to affect young children and people age 65 or older. It may also affect those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. Some medications may also react badly when sun is added to the mix.

Try to stay out of the direct sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., use sunscreen, drink plenty of non-caffeine and alcoholic beverages (water is best) and wear protective hats, clothing and sunglasses. Don’t forget sunscreen for your lips, too.

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