Heat Stress

Are you at elevated risk for heat stress?  During these dog days, heat stress can be a big problem.  Heat causes our bodies to undergo physical changes such as changes in our circulation.  More blood flows to the skin and less flows to the kidneys and other organs. Also, heart-rate increases to maintain adequate blood pressure. 

In addition to PPE use, exertion, time of day, and humidity, other factors that can increase your chances of a heat disorder include:

  • Old age
  • Lack of sleep
  • Obesity
  • Previous heatstroke
  • Excessive alcohol ingestion (the previous day which causes dehydration).

Symptoms can include headache, nausea, dizziness, irritability, pain, fatigue, or confusion.

A basic safety rule is if you start to feel uncomfortable or stressed, take a break and rehydrate, preferably in the shade.

Remember that staying calm and cool is better than ending up in the hospital.

Jim Johnson April 17, 2014

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