If you are exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long, you sweat heavily, and don’t drink enough fluids, your natural cooling system may fail. The result may be a heat-related illness.
Heat-related illnesses include:
Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms-usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs-that may occur in association with strenous activity. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, seek medical attention for heat cramps.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heart-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Elderly people and those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment are most prone to heat exhaustion.
Heat stroke is the most serious-heart related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
For more information go to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention: Extreme Heat, http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/
The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips during extreme high temperatures:
If a city/town has opened a designated cooling center, we will list the site location and hours on our website at the following link. If we do not have any listings available, please note that city/town libraries, senior centers and other public locations are good places to cool off.
For information about air quality issues:
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: April2021