What to look for to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion

Health

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As high temperatures continue in Rochester, it’s important to prioritize your heart health. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both preventable illnesses if you pay attention to your body’s signals.

Key heat exhaustion symptoms to look out for include headaches, a weak and rapid pulse, heavy sweating, cold and moist skin, chills, dizziness or fainting.

“In that case you need to cool down as soon as possible, get yourself into the shade, drink some water, and stop exercising. You may need to seek medical attention, but make sure that you cool yourself down immediately,” said Kristy Smorol, communications director at the American Heart Association.

In contrast, heat stroke is signaled by symptoms like a strong, rapid pulse with warm, dry skin.

“If it’s really hot out and you’re not sweating, that’s a problem,” said Smorol.

“Those are signs of something that is seriously wrong, you need to seek medical attention. Heat stroke means you are overheating and you need help.”

A primary way to prevent both of these illnesses is avoiding vigorous activity at peak heat times during the day.

“This is not the time to try some new strenuous exercise outside. If you’re going to be walking because you walk every day, take precautions, but that might be okay. But, if you’re going to do something strenuous, please don’t do it outside for the first time during heat like this.”   

But, if you do want to get some movement in, going to a cool indoor place like a mall may be a solution.

“We find that when the heat rises and the humidity rises, that people definitely want to get out, they come to our mall, they come to our restaurants. So, we do find that extreme heat really helps us out,” said Mike Kauffman, Eastview Mall’s general manager.

Slash parks, pools and even libraries are also nice spots on hot days. When temperatures are over 85 degrees in Rochester, designated “Cool Sweep” locations are open for extended hours.

The 2021 Cool Sweep program runs through August 28.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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