The heat is on!

My daughter Sarah and I went to the Street Fair today for a few hours.  I think we lost a combined ten pounds in water weight through sweat.  It was (still is) a very hot day.  Even as I write this (at 7 PM) it is still 97 degrees outside.  For heaven sakes…we are only one degree away from a boy band. ;-)

We saw a huge variety of folks at the Street Fair and they all had one thing in common – they were all blazing hot.  Folks faces were red, their clothes were wet from sweat, and they were desperately looking for a brief respite in the shade. Sarah and I used the bottled water we purchased as topical cooling devices (yes, we were the ones having intimate contact with our water bottles – we own it) – that helped a little in the short term.  We also stopped and had lunch at Juano’s  which gave us time to cool down and rehydrate.  But it didn’t take but a short time back in the sun to become overheated again.  In total, I was only out in the heat for about two and a half hours, but it was enough to really drain the energy out of me.  I worry for the Street Fair workers and the vendors who are out there all day – the stage is set for some potentially serious heat-related illnesses.

I urge everyone – whether you are out on an adventure such as a visit to the Street Fair or gardening in your yard, to be cognizant of the symptoms that indicate that you are suffering from a heat-related illness.  The below is a basic primer from WebMD.

The Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat cramp symptoms include:

  • Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet
  • Hard, tense muscles

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Excessive thirst
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Weakness
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin
  • Slowed or weakened heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Agitation

Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention but is not usually life-threatening.

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Hot, flushed, dry skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Decreased sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased urination
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Increased body temperature (104 to 106 degrees)
  • Confusion, delirium, or loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions

Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion.

If a person is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, GET MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:

  • Confusion, anxiety, or loss of consciousness
  • Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
  • Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion); or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke)
  • Convulsions
  • Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids and salts

Do not underestimate the damage heat like this can do to your body – many people die annually from heat-related illnesses.  Take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and family members (to include pets) safe.

Day one thousand one hundred and ten of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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One Response to The heat is on!

  1. Barbara says:

    I copied and printed this–thanks!

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