Thermometers linger in the triple digits throughout the summer in Southern Nevada, significantly raising the risk of heat-related injuries and illnesses. People can experience a variety of health issues as a result of poor preparation for the blazing outdoor temperatures, and HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages locals to be aware of how to avoid these dangers.
Common summertime health issues include dehydration and heat exhaustion, a condition stemming from exposure to high temperatures that can result in symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting and fainting. The most serious form of heat injury is heat stroke, which occurs if an individual’s body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If untreated, heat stroke can lead to organ damage and even death, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe dehydration can also become a medical emergency, potentially leading to low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, fever and loss of consciousness.
Some people might be unaware of additional issues they can experience during the summer months, including burns from falling or walking barefoot on asphalt.
There are several simple steps individuals can take to prevent heat-related illnesses. These include:
- Drinking water regularly, especially when spending time outdoors
- Regularly seeking shade or air conditioning to cool the body
- Wearing a hat and light-colored clothing, which reflects sunlight
- Wearing shoes whenever walking on asphalt outdoors
In case heat-related issues do arise, it is important to be aware that some of these health conditions can be treated at urgent care locations, which typically offer immediate treatment at a more affordable rate than the emergency room. HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages patients to seek care at one of its four urgent care locations if they experience non-emergent symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, moderate dehydration and headaches.
It is advisable to seek emergency care for severe conditions such as major burns and heat stroke. If an individual is suffering from heat stroke, it is helpful to move the individual out of the heat and apply cool damp sheets on the neck and armpits until help arrives.