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Heat exhaustion

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:32 pm
Heat exhaustion, not to be confused with heat stroke, normally results from dehydration leading to an increase in core body temperature and can affect anyone during the heat of the summer. When the body dehydrates, it can lower blood pressure, which may result in fainting spells or blackouts. The first step in treating the condition is recognizing symptoms, such as fatigue or weakness, pale or clammy skin, an abundance of perspiration, or a high temperature. Once heat exhaustion has been detected, immediate treatment may begin by having the victim lie down in a shaded area. Begin loosening the clothing while fanning and applying cool water to help lower the body temperature. Also, giving the victim electrolyte (e-LEC-tro-LYTE) beverages or small sips of salt water may help, but don’t give any drugs, alcohol, or caffeine. You may avoid heat exhaustion by wearing a hat and light-colored fabrics, as well as remaining in shaded areas, avoiding strenuous activities, drinking extra fluids, and recognizing warning signs, such as muscular pains and spasms.

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