Health Tip: Treating Heat-Related Illness

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(HealthDay News) -- High summer temperatures pose a particular risk for the elderly, the National Institute on Aging says.

Because of poor circulation and other factors, older people typically are at greater risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

The agency offers this "to-do" list if you think someone might have a heat-related illness:

  • Call 911 without delay.
  • Get the person out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned place. Urge the person to lie down.
  • If the person can swallow safely, offer fluids such as water or fruit juice, but not alcohol or caffeine.
  • Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits and groin. These are places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin, and a cold cloth can help cool the blood.
  • If possible, encourage the person to shower, bathe or sponge with cool water.

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