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Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center - Richmond, VA

 

Prevention- Heat-Related Illness

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Prevention- Heat-Related Illness

Put off running and strenuous tasks for a cooler day or plan to do them during the coolest parts of the day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The risk of heatstroke for older Veterans during this time of the year can be dangerous. Heat-related illnesses can be serious.
Veterans can reduce heat-related illnesses by observing precautions to avoid overheating and dehydration.

Wide-brimmed hats in light colors keep the sun from warming the head and neck and block the powerful radiation from hurting the eyes; vents on a hat will allow perspiration to cool the head.

Strenuous exercise should be avoided during daylight hours in hot weather; so should remaining in enclosed spaces (such as automobiles). The temperature inside cars can reach 200°F (c. 93°C) at the right exterior temperature, sunlight, color of vehicle, and type of vehicle.

• Put off strenuous tasks for a cooler day or plan to do them during the coolest parts of the day
• When outside, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Carry an umbrella for shade. Sponge off with cool water from time to time throughout the day.
• Most important of all, drink lots of water, juices, or sports drinks. (Avoid caffeine and alcohol).

Stay alert for Weather Conditions and warnings. Contact a physician if you have heat-related symptoms; muscle cramps, feeling faint, headache, weakness, thirst, and confusion, severe sweating, or fever.