Heat exhaustion and heatstroke aren’t just concerns that are faced in survival situations. These risks can be faced while hiking, clearing hunting land in the heat of summer, or spending all day fishing on your favorite lake. The risks can even be higher when doing these outdoor activities solo, as you may not recognize the symptoms until its too late. Heat illness is caused by your body temperatures rising up to 102 to 104 degrees, which can lead to dizziness, unconsciousness and death.
Heat Exhaustion – Heat exhaustion is the first stage in heat related illnesses. This occurs when the body’s internal temperature rises to unsafe temperatures putting you at risk. Symptoms will include dizziness, clammy skin, excessive sweating, nausea and fatigue. It is vital to get the victim lying down in shade, in addition to slightly raising the feet above the victim. Increase fluid intake and cool the body down. Do not risk standing or reentering the heat, seek medical attention if conditions do not improve.
Heatstroke – Heatstroke occurs when the body’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees – a serious risk. In these situations, the victim needs immediate medical attention as fast as possible. The symptoms include dry skin which is hot to the touch – the victim will appear to not be sweating. Other symptoms are headaches, dizziness or being unconscious. While seeking medical attention, elevate the persons feet and wrap them in wet towels blankets or clothes as evaporation causes cooling. Long term affects of heatstroke include damaged kidneys, heart and brain from long term exposure.
During hotter months, people must dress appropriately and constantly intake fluids to stay hydrated. Watch out for excessive time in the sun, and don’t ignore some of the early symptoms.