KDHE Recommends Caution While Working in the Hot Weather
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is reminding Kansans to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves in hot summer temperatures, especially when cleaning after flooding.
Heat-related illness is always of concern during hot weather, and may be characterized as heat stress, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Heat stress includes faintness, painful muscle spasms and cramps and prickly heat caused by a skin rash from clogged pores.
- Heat exhaustion, which is more serious, includes headache, dizziness, clammy skin, muscle fatigue, chest pain, breathing problems and nausea. Medical attention is necessary if these conditions persist.
- Heat Stroke is a life-threatening condition that should be considered an emergency. Headache, hot and dry skin, temperature of 103 degrees or higher, rapid and shallow breathing, disorientation and changes in consciousness are all symptoms of heat stroke. The person should be cooled quickly with cold, wet sheets or a cool bath and taken to the nearest hospital.
Follow these steps to minimize your risk of heat-related illness:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which dehydrate the body.
- Wear loose and light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers.
- Take frequent breaks to cool off.
- Eat light meals like fruit and salads. Eat apricots, bananas, cantaloupes, oranges, beans, broccoli, potatoes and tomatoes to increase potassium.
- When outdoors try to stay in the shade.
- Use sunscreen and other measures such as wearing sunglasses to limit UV radiation.
- Create airflow in hot indoor work areas.
For more information on dealing with extreme summer heat, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp.