Heat Related Illness

young hiker staying hydrated

It is important to always drink plenty of water when out on the trail.

Heat related illnesses:
When spending the day in the sun it is important to protect yourself from sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Sunburn
Prevention:
• Wear high protection sunscreen on all exposed skin and reapply every 3 hours.
• Stay hydrated and keep your body coo
l.

Dehydration
Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount coming in.

Symptoms:
• Thirsty
• Dry mouth
• Sweating may stop
• Muscle cramps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Lightheadedness

Prevention and treatment:

• Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
• Keep rehydrating.
• It is important to hydrate before hitting the trail or river, as well as keeping hydrated throughout the day.
• Drink enough to produce light yellow or almost clear urine throughout the day.

Heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion occurs due to water and electrolyte loss due to sweating.

Symptoms:
• Heavy sweating
• Pale, clammy skin
• Nausea and vomiting
• Fatigue
• Weakness, dizziness, and fainting
• Headache
• Muscle cramps and aches
• Rapid Pulse
• Pale skin
• Low blood pressure

Prevention:
• Avoid becoming dehydrated and avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather.
• Keep rehydrating your body.
• Wear light colored, lightweight, and loose clothing.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine when exercising in the heat
Treatment:
• Cool victim down and have them rest in the shade
• Drink plenty of water or electrolyte drink
• Monitor victims temperature
• If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical assistance

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal if not properly and promptly treated. It occurs when undertaking heavy exertion in hot climates.

Symptoms:
• Headache
• Drowsiness
• High body temperature
• Rapid pulse
• Not sweating with hot red or flushed dry skin
• Difficulty breathing
• Strange behavior; decreased mental status, confusion, or disorientation
• Irritability
• Shock
• Convulsions or seizure
• Sudden collapse

Prevention:

• Avoid becoming dehydrated and avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather.
• Keep rehydrating your body.
• Wear light colored, lightweight, and loose clothing.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine when exercising in the heat

Treatment:

• Contact emergency services
• Move victim to a shady place and cool down by bathing or sponging with cool water
• Apply cool water and place icepacks on the neck, abdomen, armpits, and groin
• Monitor victims temperature

Did You Know?