For an entire month, Arizona has seen daily temps reach 100 degrees or more. The following month is much of the same. Suffice it to say, hot weather is here to stay, and beating the heat is now a priority. An often overlooked aspect of hot weather, though, is heat exhaustion. This largely stems from our constant sluice of air conditioning. But, make no mistake, heat exhaustion can happen quickly, and to the most unsuspecting.
Background of Heat Exhaustion
Living in the desert can be a bit deceiving. Indeed, this is particularly true when dealing with heat, and heat exhaustion. Many times, our desert doesn’t afford us the gradual climb to 100 degrees; rather, the Arizona desert seems to prefer going from the 80s in March, to outright scorching by May. This makes the problem of heat exhaustion even more problematic, as it denies our bodies to acclimate to the weather.
Further, the spike in heat, along with sustained heat thereafter, poses another set of problems—old habits die hard. Most people, like us, need time to change our daily habits to deal with the heat. This includes drinking 1-2 extra cups of water, changing our workout or hiking routine, and certainly changing the times we head outside. Without this much needed buffer of time to help acclimate to the weather, you might find yourself behind the curve.
That being said, Arizona emergency rooms consistently experience almost 2000 heat exhaustion cases year-over-year. Moreover, Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that heat has claimed 1,500 lives from the years 2000-2012. Numbers like that are no laughing matter. So, let’s get into how we can combat heat exhaustion.
Types of Heat Exhaustion
Perhaps a surprise to many, heat exhaustion comes in two forms: water depletion, and salt depletion. Further, many cases of heat exhaustion are accompanied by dehydration. Lastly, without proper and immediate treatment, heat exhaustion can easily turn into heat stroke possibly damaging your brain, and other vital organs.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
There exist a variety of indicators to let you know the onset of heat exhaustion has occurred. Here are the most common signs:
- Nausea, Diarrhea, or Vomiting
- Muscle or Abdominal Cramps
- Confusion, Dizziness, Fainting, or Headache
- Pale Skin and Profuse Sweating
Treating Heat Exhaustion
The principle to treating heat exhaustion is a relatively easy one: get cool! To that end, the first thing to do is get out of the sun, then focus on cooling down. To accomplish the latter, loosen or remove tight fitting clothes, put something cold on the back of your neck, utilize any other cooling measures such as fans and baths, and begin to hydrate. As a good rule of thumb, consider doing all of them. If these remedial measures fail to provide relief, someone should seek emergency medical help for you.
With the Arizona heat showing no sign of reprieve, knowing the basics of heat exhaustion could save your life, or a loved one’s life. Be sure to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion, and the remedial measures to help combat the onset of heat exhaustion. For more information, you can visit sites like WebMD or the Mayo Clinic for more information on heat exhaustion.
The Law Offices of Michael Cordova is committed to the safety of not just our clients, but our community. This article is meant to be informative, and in no way provides medical advice. Should the onset of heat exhaustion occur, or any other medical ailments, the Law Offices of Michael Cordova reminds you to consult a medical professional for assistance.Tags: desert, heat, heat exhaustion, heat injury, heat stroke