Prevent Heat-Related Illness
The hottest times of year in North Central Montana usually are late July and early August. This year is certainly no exception. As the mercury rises, so do your chances of developing heat stress. Heat stress is the name given to a number of heat-related illnesses that can result when a person is exposed to extreme heat or works in a hot environment.
The most common signs and symptoms of heat stress are elevated body temperature, weakness and fatigue, confusion, dizziness and lightheadedness.
Reduce your risk of heat stress by following these tips:
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing
- Gradually build up to heavy work
- Do strenuous work during the coolest parts of the day
- Take more breaks in extreme heat
- Drink plenty of water—avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary beverages
If you suspect heat stress, immediately rest in the shade and hydrate with water, clear juice or a sports beverage. Consider a cool bath or being sprayed with water. If symptoms are severe or persistent, seek medical attention immediately.
It’s also important to remember to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Even on cloudy or overcast days, the sun’s rays can still cause harm. Use at least an SPF 15 sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and stay in the shade whenever possible.