Heat exhaustion is a condition where the body overheats due to prolonged exposure to heat. Numerous factors can contribute to heat exhaustion such as humidity and the intensity of the physical activities that you are doing. Heat exhaustion can turn life-threatening and lead to heat stroke if left untreated but can be prevented in different ways. Heat exhaustion is common to those who do manual labor or strenuous activities. under the sun in hot and humid places.
Causes of heat exhaustion:
- Your body fails to cool itself because of heat cramps.
- Wearing too many clothes which makes sweat harder to evaporate.
- Alcohol influence which affects your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
There are also numerous other factors that can contribute to heat exhaustion, these include:
- A person’s age, children younger than five (5) and adults older than sixty-five (65) are at risk of heat exhaustion.
- Certain medication.
- Obesity as extra weight in your body can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- Sudden temperature changes, the body will take some time to adjust to new temperatures.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion:
- Heavy sweating.
- A feeling of nausea or vomiting.
- Fatigue or dizziness.
- Loss of consciousness.
- A weak, rapid heartbeat.
What to do if you are experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Stop what you are doing and take a rest.
- Move to a cooler place to regulate your body temperature.
- Drink cold water or a sports drink such as Gatorade, Powerade, etc.
If left untreated, heatstroke may occur which poses as a life-threatening condition where the brain and internal organs are damaged because the body failed to regulate its temperature. To prevent this from happening, there are various methods including but not limited to:
- Wear clothing that is loose-fitting or lightweight.
- Apply sunscreen to prevent yourself from receiving a sunburn.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Watch the medicine that you take, it may affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- Seek shade or shelter if the temperature outside is too hot.
- Don’t perform strenuous activities during the hot parts of the day.
- Don’t stay in a car if it’s parked in the sun, this can cause the temperature inside the car to build up, it’s better to park the car under shade or indoors.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on heat exhaustion is for learning purposes only. Learn to pinpoint the signs and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.