Importance of Preventing Heat Related Illnesses

MyMichigan Medical Center in Midland has some tips to prevent heat related illnesses this summer.

With the weather forecast to reach in the 90s with indeces possibly reaching the 100s this week, heat related illnesses become a danger. Extreme heat can put a strain on the heart, lungs and kidneys, as well as increase risks from chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes. Symptoms of heat-related illness can include muscle cramping, unusually heavy sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, weakness, or nausea.

The first and most important thing to do is simply stay cool. If outside, wear sunscreen, choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, stay in the shade as much as possible, take breaks and do outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day or evening. Try to find a place in side where there is air conditioning. The National Center for Healthy Housing has a list of cooling centers around the state.

Secondly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Limit drinks high in sugar, sodium, caffeine or alcohol.

Lastly, stay informed by checking on family, friends, and neighbors, especially if they have chronic medical problems or live alone. Check the local news for extreme weather alerts and safety tips.