Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons: Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature. They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat. They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration. <!–split–>
Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106F or higher within 10-15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
What YOU Can Do To Protect Yourself – You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:
- Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
- Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath. If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment. (If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public library, with social distancing, to cool off).
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
- Do not engage in strenuous activities.
Kids Corner: Heat stroke is among the leading causes of death in young adults and teens. This is largely due to heat strokes occurring during practices and sporting events outdoors. Most cases of heat stroke can be prevented in this age group.
Your Parish Nurse, Kara