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Be Aware of Heat-Related Illness

By Sara Butler

Summer is a great season with so much to do outside, but it is hot. You have to be careful when being active outdoors in high temperatures or you could be susceptible to heat illnesses that can make you very sick or even kill you.

Here are a few heat illnesses to be on the lookout for and some tips to help you stay safe outside when the temperatures soar.

Heat Exhaustion

When it's warm outside, heat exhaustion can be common. It often occurs when people are being active outside, so it's an issue that plagues young athletes, construction workers, firefighters, and others who work outside in the heat of the day.

The symptoms to be on the lookout for in regard to heat exhaustion include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness in serious cases

If you worry you have heat exhaustion, get out of the sun and try to cool down immediately. You can apply ice packs under the arms and in the groin to help cool a person down even quicker, or spray water on them and use fans to help them cool down.


Heatstroke is a very serious illness and is an advanced form of heat exhaustion. It happens when the temperature of the body gets above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It requires hospital treatment, so make sure to get to the emergency room if you suspect this condition.

Symptoms to be aware of in heatstroke include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Rapid breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Dry skin
  • Coma

Heatstroke is a medical emergency, so get medical attention if you think it's occurring.

How to Avoid Heat Illness

There are things you can do to help reduce the chances of a heat illness happening to you. You should:

  • Hydrate - Make sure to take plenty of breaks and drink water when you're outdoor being active.
  • Stay out of the hottest part of the day - If you exercise outside, try to do it before it gets too hot or after the hottest part of the day has passed. Before 10 in the morning or after 4 in the afternoon is recommended.
  • Chose location wisely - If you want to exercise outside during the day, then try working out in a pool or find a shady area.
  • Wear the right clothes - You need lightweight and loose-fitting clothes to help you stay cool in hot weather. If you choose light-colored clothing, then that will help reflect the heat too.

Heat-related illness can make you very sick -- and even kill you. So do what you can to lower your risks when outside on a hot day. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.

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