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Heat injury and illness

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Heat cramps Edit

In hot weather people who work hard and sweat a lot sometimes get painful cramps in their legs, arms, or stomach. These occur because the body lacks salt. The people are also often dehydrated.

First aid treatment for heat cramps Edit

Put no more than a TEAspoon of salt in a liter of water and drink it. Repeat once every hour until the cramps are gone. Have the person sit or lie down in a cool place and gently massage the painful areas.

Heat exhaustion Edit

Signs and symptoms Edit

A person who works and sweats a lot in hot weather may become very pale, weak, nauseous, and perhaps feel faint. The skin is cool and moist. The pulse is rapid and weak. The temperature of the body is usually normal.

First aid treatment for heat exhaustion Edit

Have the person lie down in a cool place, raise their feet, and rub their legs. Give one TEAspoon of salt in a liter of water to drink. The water should be no more salty than tears. (Give nothing by mouth unless a person is alert and oriented.)

Heat stroke Edit

Heat stroke is not common, but is very dangerous. It occurs especially in older people and alcoholics during hot weather.

Signs and symptoms Edit

The skin is red, very hot, and dry. Not even the armpits are moist. The person has a very high fever, sometimes higher than 108°F, and is often unconscious.

First aid treatment for heat stroke Edit

The body temperature must be lowered immediately. CALL 911. Put the person in the shade. Soak them with cold water (ice water if possible) and fan them. Continue until the fever drops.

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