Summer is here and the weather is hot. This is the time of year to be concerned about heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses can occur indoors as well as outdoors. Accidents are more frequent in hot weather because it can decrease mental alertness and reduce job performance. This article will help us become aware of risk factors and symptoms, and how to help others with heat-related illness.
Risk Factors for Heat Illnesses
- High temperature and high humidity
- Direct sun exposure (with little or no shade)
- Limited air movement (no breeze or wind)
- Low liquid intake, excessive sweating
- No recent exposure to hot environments or history of previous heat-related illness
- Children under the age of 4, adults over the age of 65, or pregnant
- Persons with chronic diseases, obesity or frequent alcohol use
Heat-related health problems include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. Understanding signs of heat-related illness, knowing how to assist and when to call for help are important when workers are exposed to hot, humid environments.