Health & Safety

June 21, 2013

Have fun safely this summer

summer-safety
Lately the weather has been 72 degrees one day and 95 degrees the next.

Summer is here and it arrived overnight, without any warning. Pretty soon we will be saying “Wow, what a scorcher!”

You know the days are going to be a hot, some over 108 degrees Fahrenheit. At work, you reach for a tool to finish your job and start to feel lightheaded. It is probably because you have not eaten much this morning. You can make it until lunch! So you press on with your work.

Time passes and your condition has not gotten any better – in fact it is worse! Your breathing has increased, you are sweating profusely and your mouth is dry. Something is wrong! You start to climb down from where you are working but you are almost too weak to move. You feel like you are going to be sick. With no control over your movements, you fall to the ground below. Your co-workers are trying to get your attention but you cannot understand them. You yell, “Help me up guys!” but they don’t respond. Can they hear? All you can see is black…what’s happening? Heat Exhaustion! That is what’s happening.

Heat exhaustion can occur when you are subjected to hot environments and fail to take in enough fluids, salts or both. And even worse, this can lead to a life threatening condition known as a heat stroke. Sun stroke or heat stroke happens when the body’s internal mechanism fails to regulate its core temperature. At this point, the body stops cooling itself through perspiration and can’t get rid of excess heat. Unfortunately, the end result can be death if the body temperature is not lowered immediately! So, if you work in hot environments, it is critical to recognize when you are suffering from a Heat Stress Disorder.

 

Symptoms of Heat Stress Disorders:

  • Heat Cramps – Symptoms are painful spasms of the muscles. Heat cramps are caused when workers consume large quantities of water but fail to take in enough salt to replace the salt their body lost through sweating. Tired muscles are most susceptible to cramping.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Symptoms for this disorder are moist, clammy, pale skin; profuse sweating; extreme weakness or fatigue; dry mouth; dizziness; fast pulse; rapid breathing; muscle cramps and nausea.
  • Heat/Sun Stroke – Symptoms are a very high body temperature (104F or higher); lack of sweat; mental confusion, delirium, or hallucinations; deep breathing and rapid pulse; hot, dry, red or mottled skin; and dilated pupils. Seek medical help at once for this condition.

 Tips for Prevention:

  • Acclimatization – Adjust yourself to the heat through short exposure periods followed by longer exposure until your body is accustomed to the heat. It may take 5-7 days of hot weather exposure before the body undergoes changes that make heat more bearable.
  • Drink lots of Water/Liquids – Replenish the fluid your body is losing through sweating. Not only water, but critical electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and calcium are lost through sweating, so consider using electrolyte drinks to combat heat related disorders.
  • Education – Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress disorders and act quickly.
  • Use Your Head – Do not ignore possible symptoms of heat stress disorders. If you feel very hot, dizzy, nauseous or if your muscles cramp, stop and cool off!

Heat Stress Disorders are serious. Workers who have ignored the symptoms have lost their lives. Humans have an ingenious system for regulating body temperature, their very own personal, “natural” air conditioner. We sweat, it evaporates through our skin, and we are cooled off. But this personal air conditioner can fail, and often does, if we overexert when environmental temperatures are high.

Be Cool. Know what you have to do to beat the heat!

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
recall

Kidde recalls disposable plastic fire extinguishers due to failure to discharge

The Edwards AFB Fire Department has announced an important recall of Kidde plastic valve disposable fire extinguishers. The recall applies to both notify base residents and the local community. According to the Consumer Product...
 
 

Small increase to TRICARE pharmacy copays began Feb. 1

New copayments for prescription drugs covered by TRICARE went into effect Feb. 1. The Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act requires TRICARE to increase most pharmacy copays by $3. Drugs from military pharmacies and generic drugs from TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery still cost beneficiaries $0. TRICARE pharmacy copays vary based on the class of...
 
 
vaccine

Measles: Don’t wait, vaccinate

Air Force photograph The 412th Medical Group is urging individuals and parents to vaccinate themselves and their children if they are not immunized. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus and is easily spread through dr...
 

 
MDG-no-show

Don’t be a ‘no show’

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patien...
 
 

TRICARE and the Affordable Care Act

With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, TRICARE beneficiaries may have questions about how it would affect them. The ACA and TRICARE are very different, governed by two different pieces of legislation so changes in one have no effect on the other. The intent of the Affordable Care Act,...
 
 
heart-month

AFMC promotes awareness of heart attack warning signs

February is American Heart Month. The National Institutes of Health reports that more than one million people in the United States have a heart attack each year. Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>