Residents, visitors urged to take precautions during extreme heat

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 05:43 PM.

Residents should take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County states.

Tips:

●Dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing

●Drink plenty of water; avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks

●Eat smaller meals more often

●Reduce or eliminate strenuous activity outside or reschedule to coolest time of day

●Spend more time in air-conditioned places

●When outside, seek out shade during peak sun (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

●Use sunscreen

Signs of heat exhaustion:

●Heavy sweating

●Paleness

●Muscle cramps

●Tiredness

●Dizziness

●Headache

●Nausea or vomiting

●Fainting

●Skin — cool and moist

●Pulse rate — fast and weak

●Breathing — fast and shallow

Untreated heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke.

If you suspect heat exhaustion, try these cooling measures:

●Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages, as directed by your physician

●Rest in an air-conditioned environment

●Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath

●Wear lightweight clothing

●Prevent sunburn with a 30 SPF sunscreen

Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe or you have heart problems or high blood pressure, a department spokesperson states. Otherwise, help the person cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

FYI

Heat exhaustion, a milder form of heat-related illness, can develop after exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Infants and children up to 4 years old, people 65 or older, and those who are overweight, ill or on certain medications are prone to heat exhaustion.

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