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Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

We all look forward to the long, hot days of summer. But there is a darker side of summer, heat-related illnesses, that most of us don’t know about.

Every year there are approximate 658 extreme-heat related deaths in the United States. Sadly, all these deaths could have been prevented with proper care and prevention.

What Are Heat-Related Illnesses?

Heat-related illnesses are medical conditions that occur when we are exposed to extreme or prolonged hot temperatures. Heat-related illness range from minor illnesses to life-threatening medical emergencies. 

There are several heat-related illnesses, including:

  • Heat Stroke
  • Heat Exhaustion 
  • Heat Cramps 
  • Heat rash
  • Dehydration

What Causes Heat-Related Illnesses?

The human body has a built-in temperature regulating system known as thermoregulation. The way our bodies primarily adjust temperatures is through sweat. When the sweat evaporates, our body cools down. 

However, in situations when air temperatures are above 95°F, or there is high humidity, the natural cooling mechanism becomes less efficient, and our bodies can’t cool down fast enough. This is dangerous because very high body temperatures can damage the brain and other internal organs.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and knowing what to do can help save lives.

The following chart was published by the CDC and shows the typical symptoms of the most common heat-related illnesses and how to treat them.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when more fluids leave our body than enter it. Symptoms vary depending on how severely dehydrated we are.

 

The first symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Darker Urine
  • Decreased Urine Production

 

With moderate dehydration, more symptoms develop such as:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

 

When we lose 10-15% of our body’s water, we become severely dehydrated. In these cases, we experience extreme versions of the symptoms listed above as well as:

  • Lack of Sweating
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Shriveled and Dry Skin
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Fever
  • Delirium
  • Unconsciousness

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Age Group

Recommended Daily Fluid Intake

Toddlers 1-3 4 cups
Children 4-8 5 cups
Boys 9-13 8 cups
Boys 14-18 11 cups
Girls 9-13 7 cups
Girls 14-18 8 cups
Adult Men (19 and over) 13 cups
Adult Women (19 and over) 9 cups
Pregnant Women 10 cups
Lactating Women 13 cups

How to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

The following tips are essential to help protect your health when temperatures are extremely high.

 

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Follow the guidelines from the chart above.

 

Replace Salts and Minerals 

Sweat removes vital minerals and salts from the body, and therefore need to be replaced. The safest way to do this is through diet, so try eating more fruits and vegetables. You can also drink a sports beverage while exercising or working in the heat.

 

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen

Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. While out in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat which can provide shade and keep the head cool.

Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids, so apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you go in the sun and reapply every 2-hours.

 

Pace Yourself

If you are not used to exercising or working in high temperatures, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.

If outdoor activities in the heat make your heart pound and leave you gasping for breath, STOP what you are doing. Get into a cool or shaded area, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, weak, or faint.

 

Stay Indoors When Possible

The best way to avoid heat-related illnesses is to stay in cool places as much as possible. Avoid being outside for long periods during the hottest times of the day between 10 am and 4 pm.

Remember if you or someone you know is showing the signs and symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you need to come into the nearest Altus Emergency Centers. Use our online check-in form, and our staff of qualified physicians will be waiting for you at the door.

Both heat stroke and heat exhaustion are dangerous conditions and need immediate medical attention to avoid long term injury or death.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Common Summertime Injuries

How to Avoid Common Summertime Injuries

Make it a priority to learn to avoid common summertime injuries to make it the best one ever! Summertime brings warm weather and plenty of fun outdoor activities like cookouts and pool parties.

While we are all looking forward to a fun-filled summer; we cannot overlook the fact that ER visits increase during the summer months.

So, before you drink one more beer, run that extra mile, dive into your pool or take a nap in the sun, we advise you to read on.

Top Three Common Summertime Injuries

We’ve asked our doctors to list the most common reasons why people end up in our Emergency Centers during the summer months and what can be done to prevent them. Here is what we learned.

 

Heat-Related Illnesses

A 2015 study from researchers at Brown University found that heat-related injuries significantly increased once the thermometer hit 75°F.

According to a study from the CDC, some 2000 Americans die every year from weather-related causes. Of these, 31% are due to excessive natural heat exposure.

Emergency Room visits for heat-related illnesses range from mild to severe and include the following:

 

1. Heat-Stroke

The most severe heat-related illness occurs when the body temperature rises rapidly, and the sweating mechanisms fail preventing the body from cooling down.

 

Should You Go to the ER?

Heat-stroke can cause death or permanent disability if the patient is not rushed to the ER immediately.

2. Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to extreme loss of water and salt, usually due to excessive sweating.

 

Should You Go to the ER?

You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation and treatment if you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from heat exhaustion.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

3. Rhabdomyolysis

This medical condition is associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion, which causes the rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle.

Rhabdomyolysis can cause irregular heart rhythms, seizures, and damage the kidneys.

 

Should You Go to the ER?

Yes, anyone suffering from rhabdomyolysis needs immediate emergency medical care.

 

How to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses

 

  • Be mindful of the temperature outdoors
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid being in the sun for long periods
  • Avoid being outdoors between 2-4pm the hottest hours of the day

Swimming-Related Injuries and Drowning

Our doctors see a fair amount of swimming-related injuries during the summer.

The injuries are mostly caused by:

  • Diving into a body of water
  • Boating accidents
  • Drownings

 

How to avoid Swimming-related injuries and Drowning

 

  • Supervise children when they are in or around a pool, lake, river or ocean
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Always jump into a body of water feet first
  • Look for underwater hazards before going into the water
  • Stay in designated areas
  • When possible, choose to swim in areas where lifeguards are present

 

Should You Go to the ER?

 

All drowning victims need immediate emergency medical attention.

Any swimming injuries which result in deep lacerations need to be evaluated by a medical professional.

Victims who have lost consciousness due to a swimming-related incident need to be taken to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.

Sports Injuries

During the summer months, people usually practice more outdoor activities from playing frisbee, to taking up a sport such as football, baseball, or soccer.

Because of this increase in activity, our ER doctors see a lot more sports injuries during this time of year.

ER visits from sports injuries vary in type and severity, some are just mild sprains which will heal with rest, others involve torn ACL’s or even a broken bone.

 

How to Avoid Sports Injuries

 

  • Warm up and cool down before and after any physical activity
  • Be mindful of your physical condition, listen to your body and don’t overdo it
  • Wear protective gear
  • Learn the right techniques to play any sport
  • Rest when tired
  • Stay hydrated

 

Should You Go to the ER?

 

You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation and treatment in case of:

  • Concussion
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated shoulders
  • Torn muscles or tendons

The key to enjoying your summer is caution, nothing puts a damper on your plans like an accident and an unexpected trip to our emergency room. Therefore, always take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

But don’t worry, Altus Emergency Centers will always be here to take care of you and your family in case of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

In Texas we strive to be number one in everything we do, although this is usually a good thing, there are some instances where it is not. In fact, there is one thing we should try to be last in, and that is infant car heatstroke deaths.

Sadly, in the state of Texas, more kids die in hot cars than in any other state in the country according to noheatstroke.org.

The hardest thing to accept about these tragedies is that all these deaths were preventable. We are not trying to place blame on anyone, even the best of parents and caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping child inside a car, causing injuries or death.

What we would like to do, is provide parents and caregivers with facts and tips to help avoid these unfortunate accidents. This month we celebrated National Sun Safety Week, but instead of posting tips to enjoy your time in the sun safely, we would like to dedicate this article to preventing car heatstroke accidents so that all families can enjoy the summer months.

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

Did You Know?

  • – Car interiors heat up faster than we think, with temperatures reaching 125°F in minutes.
  • 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes
  • – Cracking the windows does NOT help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature
  • – It doesn’t have to be scorching hot outside for a child to be in danger inside a vehicle, there have been fatal cases of car heatstroke in temperatures as low as 60°F.
  • A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.
Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

What is a Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a medical emergency condition that can be fatal if it is not promptly and adequately treated. Heatstroke occurs when there is an increase in body temperature, and dehydration often accompanies it.

Symptoms

  • – Body temperature above 104°F and red, hot, dry skin
  • –  There is sign of sweating
  • – A throbbing headache
  • – Rapid, strong pulse
  • – Nausea or vomiting
  • – Confusion
  • – Agitation
  • – Loss of consciousness
Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

Safety Tips

According to statistics, more than 55% of car heatstroke cases happen when parents or caregivers unknowingly leave a child in the car. Although parents think this is something that will never happen to them, everyday stresses and unexpected changes in routine can cause a loving parent to forget their child is asleep in the backseat.

 

Follow these safety tips to ensure your child is never left alone in a car:

  • – Train yourself to open the back door of your vehicle whenever you exit it to make sure no one is there, an excellent way to do this is to leave something in the back seat, your purse, your phone, or laptop.
  • – Keep one of your kid’s toys in their car seat and move it to the front of the car to remind yourself your child is with you.
  • – Ask your child’s daycare or school to contact you whenever your child does not arrive on time.

Tips to prevent children from entering cars without you knowing:

  • – Always keep your vehicles locked, even when they are in your driveway or garage.
  • – Don’t leave your keys within reach of children.
  • – If you can’t find your child, check the interior of every car nearby, they may have gone in to play or take a nap.
child vehicular heatsroke fatalities 2018 map

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

At Altus Emergency Centers, we care about your child’s safety and well-being, being vigilant and extra cautious can save your child from dying from heatstroke. Please keep in mind that all of our Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7, with no lines.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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