Heat Stress Awareness and Prevention

Jeff Mlekush, coordinator of safety operations

man mowing lawn in the sun

It’s getting hot out there and summer is here. Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and know what to do if you or those around you exhibit any symptoms.

Heat Stroke

What to look forWhat to do
High body temperature
Hot, red, dry or damp skin
Fast, strong pulse
Headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Confusion
Losing consciousness
Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
Move the person to a cooler place
Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
Do not give the person anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion

What to look forWhat to do
Heavy sweating
Cold, pale and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting
Muscle cramps
Tiredness or weakness
Dizziness
Headache
Fainting
Move to a cool place
Loosen your clothing
Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
Sip water
Get medical help right away if:
o   You are throwing up
o   Your symptoms get worse
o   Your symptoms last longer than one hour

Heat Cramps

What to look forWhat to do
Heavy sweating during intense exercise
Muscle pain or spasms
Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
Drink water or a sports drink
Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
Get medical help right away if:
o   Cramps last longer than one hour
o   You’re on a low-sodium diet
o   You have heart problems

Sunburn

What to look forWhat to do
Painful, red and warm skin
Blisters on the skin
Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals
Put cool cloths on sunburned areas or take a cool bath
Put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas
Do not break blisters

Heat Rash

What to look forWhat to do
Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples – usually on the neck, chest, groin or in elbow creasesStay in a cool, dry place
Keep the rash dry
Use powder (such as baby powder) to sooth the rash