Parker County Today July 2017 - Page 41

Keep Your Cool In The Heat By: Chad Everett, DO The warm weather of summer creates more opportunities for people to spend time outside. Whether you are working, exer- cising, or doing other activities, it is important to protect your- self from heat related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. weather. Heat stroke is the most severe form and can cause death or permanent disability if treatment is not provided. Regularly check on individuals who have a higher risk for get- ting heat illnesses and do not leave children and pets in the car or outside in the heat. Know what to expect when you are planning outdoor activi- ties by checking the tempera- ture and heat index. Try to plan exercise and outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, early morning and late afternoon. Some of the warning signs for heat exhaustion can be heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting and fainting. If you or someone near you is experienc- ing these symptoms take the following steps: • Move to a cool location • Lie down and loosen clothing • Apply cold, wet cloths • Sip water • If you or the individual has vomited and it con tinues, seek medical at tention immediately. Spending time in cool, air conditioned areas is the best way to prevent heat illness, but when you are in the heat make sure to wear loose, light colored clothing and drink lots of water. Adults over 65, young children, people with existing medical problems, such as heart disease, and people without access to air conditioning are at a high risk for suffering from a heat related illness. If you do not have air con- ditioning in your home, spend time in public places, such as shopping malls, a public library or a heat-relief shelter during extremely hot weather. Even a few hours spent out of the heat can keep your body cool. Consult your provider for more tips on how you can keep your cool this summer. If you do not have a dedicated primary care provider, visit LoneStar- or call the Find- A-Doc line at 817- 489-7450 To find a physician close to you, visit Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s online Physician Directory at About the Author: Chad Everett, DO, a mem- ber of the medical staff, received his medical school education from UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. He completed his family medicine residency at Plaza Medical Center and is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and rash occur when the body cannot cool itself down in extremely hot Heat stroke occurs when someone has a high body temperature (above 103 de- grees Fahrenheit). Signs of heat stroke include hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse or possible unconscious- ness.” Heat stroke is an emergency. If you think someone is experi- encing symptoms, take immedi- ate action: • Seek medical attention and dial 911 • Move them to a cool location • Reduce their body temperature with a cool bath or cloths • Do not give fluids. 39