-Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Offers Summer Safety Tips-
(Englewood, NJ, June 3, 2013) – Temperatures are officially on the rise and whether working or playing outdoors, it is important to know the warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
“We typically see an uptick of patients experiencing heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke in the summer months,” said David Istvan, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Englewood Hospital. “We encourage people of all ages to be more cautious during extremely hot days, especially young children and the elderly who are the most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It is important to know the warning signs to help prevent a potentially deadly event.”
• Heat Cramps: Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous physical activity. Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms that typically occur in the abdomen, arms, or legs.
• Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle or heat cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting or fainting. Victims may also feel tired, dizzy or weak.
• Heatstroke: Heatstroke can cause disability or death if not treated immediately. Victims may appear confused, have red, hot and dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, a throbbing headache or lose consciousness. Other symptoms include an extremely high body temperature, above 103°F, dizziness or nausea.
Dr. Istvan suggests a proactive approach to summer safety to help families avoid an unwanted trip to the emergency room.
• Stay Hydrated: Your body’s water reserves can run dangerously low during an active day outdoors, which is why it is so important to remember to replenish that lost liquid. Grab a bottle of water or a sports drink even if you aren’t thirsty. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, which contribute to dehydration.
• Cover Up: Create a protective barrier between you and the sun’s ultraviolent rays with protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses. Lightweight clothing in reflective colors such as white can help you stay cool, while also offering an added layer of protection from the sun. Avoid the sun during midday, seek out a shady spot or head indoors to help stave off heat-related illnesses.
• Slather Up: Protect your skin from harmful rays with generous amounts of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Use SPF 30 or higher - even on overcast days - to reduce the risk of sunburn.