American Heart Association reminding residents to safe as temperatures rise

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Summer is almost here and so are hot temperatures and The American Heart Association wants to help you beat the heat this summer by avoiding heat stroke and exhaustion. 

Temperatures are on the rise in South Louisiana making outdoor activities dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken.

According to the American Heart Association, extreme temperatures can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can have serious effects on health.

That is why it is important to know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cold, clammy skin, dizziness or fainting, a weak and rapid pulse, muscle cramps, fast, shallow breathing, and/ or nausea, vomiting or both.

Signs of heat stroke include warm, dry skin with no sweating, strong and rapid pulse, confusion and/or unconsciousness, high fever, throbbing headaches, and/ or nausea, vomiting or both.

If you experience these symptoms the American Heart Association suggests you stop what you are doing and cool down immediately by covering yourself with cold water. Find shade, or go indoors to the air conditioning as quickly as you can. You may need to get medical attention if symptoms persist.

There are a number of things you can do prevent heat related illnesses. 

The American Heart Association suggest the following tips to stay cool and hydrated while outdoors this summer. 

  • Choose the early morning or late evening to be outdoors.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear very lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Take breaks as needed and get out of the sun if possible.
  • Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat. Always check with your healthcare professional.

For more tips and information from the American Heart Association on beating the heat visit their website

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