Summer is a time for everyone to enjoy being outside with family, friends, and loved ones. While this is true across the country, it is critical to remember that the days of summer can be long and hot, increasing the risk of harm if you are not taking the right steps to protect yourself and others. During the summer, we are at a higher risk of suffering a heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or dehydration.
According to the National Safety Council (“NSC”), there were 884 fatalities and 2,061 injuries in the United States in 2019 due to exposure to excessive heat. Those who are most at risk of suffering injuries during hot summer days include:
- People whose jobs require them to work in the heat;
- Infants and young children (particularly if inside hot cars);
- Those aged 65 and older;
- People with chronic health conditions or on certain medications;
- Individuals who are overweight.
Whether you are visiting or living in Las Vegas, Nevada, the quick tips below can help you recognize these health risks this summer.
A heat stroke occurs when the body cannot control its temperature after being exposed to high heat for a prolonged period of time. In such a scenario, a person’s body temperature rises quickly, his or her sweating mechanism fails, causing the body to be unable to cool itself down. Within as little as 10 to 15 minutes, a person’s body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher. Hallmark signs of heatstroke include:
- Body temperature rising above 103 degrees;
- Sweating has stopped, making the skin dry, flushed, and hot to the touch;
- Faster than normal breathing;
- Altered mental status including headache, confusion, and/or dizziness;
- Behavior that is belligerent or irrational; and
- Unresponsiveness or convulsions.
If someone you know is suffering a heat stroke you should immediately:
- Contact 9-1-1;
- Move the person to a cooler place;
- Remove any unneeded clothing from the victim;
- Immediately cool the person’s temperature, preferably by immersing him or her from the neck down in cold water;
- If immersion is not possible, put the person in a cold shower or cover as much of their body with cold, wet towels.
You should continue to cool the person until their body temperature goes down to 101 degrees. Be sure to monitor their breathing and be prepared to give CPR if necessary.
According to the MayoClinic, the main cause of heat exhaustion is exposure to high temperatures. Someone is particularly at risk of heat exhaustion when he or she is exposed to high temperatures in combination with high humidity and engaging in strenuous physical activity. If not treated promptly, heat exhaustion can result in heat stroke. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, according to the NSC, include:
- Muscle cramps;
- Moist, pale, or ashen skin;
- Exhaustion, weakness, or fatigue;
- Dizziness, headaches, or fainting;
- Vomiting or nausea; and
- Faster than normal heart rate.
Because uncontrolled heat exhaustion can turn into life-threatening heat stroke, you should do the following if someone you know is experiencing this:
- Move the victim to an air-conditioned or shaded area;
- Have the person drink water or other cool non-alcoholic beverages;
- Have the victim take a cold shower, or apply cold wet towels to regulate body temperature.
High temperatures during the summer can result in heat-related accidents. Do not wait until it is too late to contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at H&P Law. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.