Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Facebook Posts May Hint at DepressionHere's Something to Sleep OnDrowsy Driving as Risky as Drunk DrivingScience Says 'Hug It Out'What's Your Savings Personality?Scientists Developing Blood Test for Drowsy DrivingRegular Bedtime Might Be Key to Better Health'Liking Gap' Might Stand in Way of New FriendshipsWhich of the 4 New 'Personality Types' Are You?Slaying the Couch-Potato MindsetScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainFor a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of SleepTake a Vacation, Your Heart Will Thank YouTaking a Stand at WorkCellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-BalanceSleep Deprivation May Play Role in 'Global Loneliness Epidemic'Dining Out With Smartphones Isn't AppetizingExercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a PointSnap, Polish, Post: Why Selfies May Be Bad for Your HealthHealth Tip: Have a Safer SummerShield Yourself From the Summer SunIt's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise3-Pronged Approach to Cancer PreventionYour Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You ThinkAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessGreen Spaces a Mental Balm for City DwellersYour Earliest Memories May Be FalseDoes Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?Health Tip: Map Your Way to Better HealthGreen Space: A Gateway to Better Health?How to Use Sunscreens the Right WayWant a Meaningful Conversation? Cut the Small TalkDrinking and Driving: A Deadly July 4 CocktailHealth Tip: Have a Fun and Safe VacationBeat the Heat on Your Summer VacationSitting Tied to Raised Risk of Death From 14 DiseasesHot Cars, Drowning: Keep Your Family Safe This SummerJust 1 in 4 Americans Gets Enough ExerciseHow Much Drinking Is Healthy -- or Not?America's Poor Are Less Happy Than Ever: StudyBeach, Boating and Booze Add Up to Summer InjuriesThe Water's Great. Just Don't Overlook Safety.Strategies to Avoid SunburnHealth Tips for Summer FunAHA: We All Need Water for a Healthy Life, But How Much?Health Tip: Understanding Sunscreen LingoSnubbed on Social Media? Your Depression Risk May Rise'Face-Aging' Photos Convince Tanners to Shun the SunHealth Tip: Stay Fit at WorkHealth Tip: 5 Habits That Could Help You Live Longer
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Exercise
Emotional Resilience

It's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise

HealthDay News
by -- E.J Mundell
Updated: Jul 27th 2018

new article illustration

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As much of the United States continues to swelter through 90-plus temperatures and high humidity, one emergency physician is offering advice on keeping safe.

First, Dr. Robert Glatter said, it's important to know that anyone can be a victim of heat stroke, but some people are at particular risk.

"Heat stroke develops when the body is unable to effectively sweat to cool itself down," said Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. "As core temperatures rapidly elevate, the skin becomes dry and your heart rate begins to elevate."

When body temperature rises, damage to the brain and other organs can occur unless help comes quickly.

The very old and the very young are at highest risk, Glatter said.

"Children are at higher risk for hyperthermia and consequently heat stroke due to their reduced ability to thermoregulate their body temperatures," he explained.

Kids have a "higher ratio of surface area to body mass, which reduces their ability to cool their bodies efficiently and effectively," Glatter said.

Too often, kids don't hydrate themselves as they should, so parents need to be sure youngsters drink plenty of water when temperatures soar.

"It's important to drink plenty of cool fluids in the heat and even stay 'ahead' of your thirst," Glatter said. "Water is preferable, but low-sugar sports drinks are recommended if you are working in the heat or exercising for more than one hour."

Two types of drinks -- alcohol and sugary soft drinks -- won't help in the heat and may even harm, dehydrating you further.

Elderly people also need to take special care, especially when air conditioning isn't available, Glatter said.

Check on seniors to see how they are feeling, he advised. "Make sure, if possible, that they have access to air conditioning and plenty of cool fluids. It's also vital to have a 'heat response' plan to help reduce the chances for heat stroke developing in the first place," he said.

Compared to younger adults, seniors have a reduced ability to sweat and cool their bodies, making them particularly vulnerable in heat waves, Glatter noted.

"They also may be taking medications to treat blood pressure [such as diuretics] that can reduce their ability to sweat effectively," he said. Other drugs that make heat stroke more likely are antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines.

"Hypertension, coronary artery disease and kidney disease -- common in the senior population -- all elevate the risk for developing heat stroke, due to reduced cardiac reserve and plasticity of blood vessels," Glatter said. "These are major risk factors for heat stroke."

How to tell if you or a loved one is suffering heat stroke?

"Confusion is a common presenting symptom of patients who develop heat stroke, and this can even mimic a stroke," Glatter said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other signs include a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit; red, hot and dry skin with little or no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; and loss of consciousness.

Remember, heat stroke is "a medical emergency, and it's vital to seek treatment immediately in the emergency department by calling 911," Glatter said. "A patient requires rapid cooling and attention to their airway and blood volume status to effectively resuscitate them."

More information

Find out more about heat stroke at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.