derw3Our part two focuses on symptoms and prevention of heat related injuries. The immediate steps to follow for a heat stroke victim while waiting for medical personnel to arrive include:

  • Move the victim to a cooler location.
  • Remove any outer clothing that would interfere with the free circulation of air around the victim’s body.
  • Apply cool water to the entire body surface of the victim. Use ice if necessary.
  • Vigorously fan the victim to increase the cooling effect of the water.
  • Get medical help as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

  • Very high body temperature
  • Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
  • Dry swollen tongue
  • Rapid pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness, confusion and nausea
  • Collapse
  • Eventual unconsciousness

Heat Stress Prevention Tips:

  • Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-induced illnesses and what to do to help
  • Train the workforce about heat-induced illnesses and how to identify the symptoms
  • Drink water frequently and moderately
  • Use the buddy system (work in pairs).
  • Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Many cases of heat exhaustion occur the day after a “night on the town”
  • Eat lightly
  • Doing more strenuous jobs during the cooler morning hours
  • Utilize ventilation or fans in enclosed areas
  • Remembering that it takes about 1-2 weeks for the body to adjust to the heat; this adaptation is quickly lost – so your body will need time to adjust after a vacation
  • Wearing light-colored, cotton clothes and keeping your shirt on.  Desert nomads don’t wear all those clothes for nothing. 

As the weather heats up this summer, remember to be aware of your body and take preventative action to minimize heat related injuries at work or at home.