Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Heat Exhaustion a Spring Problem, Too

It needn't be high summer to take precautions

SUNDAY, May 30, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Do your spring plans include working in the garden or a game of tennis with the neighbor? Or maybe you're planning on hiking through the woods. Anything to get outside after the long winter, right?

Whatever your springtime plans are, make sure you also have a plan for keeping cool.

Heat exhaustion is something most people equate with the soaring temperatures of mid-summer, but it's possible to get sick from the heat in the spring, too. Anytime you're working out in hot weather and you don't take in enough fluids, you're at risk.

Signs of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, moist, pale skin and an altered level of consciousness. Untreated, heat exhaustion leads to heatstroke, which can be life-threatening.

Children and the elderly are at the greatest risk of heat exhaustion, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But anyone who overexerts himself when he's not used to the heat and humidity can suffer from heat exhaustion. People with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and those who are obese are also at an increased risk.

If someone shows signs of heat illness, cool him off by moving him into the shade. Give him a cool beverage or fan him.

To prevent heat exhaustion, drink plenty of water and be sure to take regular drink breaks during your activity. It also helps to wear light-colored clothing made of a breathable fabric.

More information

To learn more about heat exhaustion, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Arthritis Foundation; Mayo Clinic; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Consumer News