Jul 8, 2022 - News

How extreme heat can affect your health

Illustration of a fan blowing on the sun.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

These extreme temperatures not only take a toll on the environment, but also on your health.

Driving the news: The heat in NWA isn't letting up any time soon. We continue to be under a heat advisory Friday, according to the National Weather Service, and you can expect highs to stay in the 90s and even up to 100 in the coming weeks.

Threat level: Extreme heat is increasingly taking a toll on children, pregnant people and other vulnerable populations, and children will experience 35 times more life-threatening extreme heat events than kids born about 60 years ago, Axios' Arielle Dreher writes.

Zoom in: The state Department of Health warns that Arkansans can prevent heat-related illnesses by drinking water often, wearing sunscreen and loose-fitting clothing, and avoiding unnecessary sun exposure and strenuous outdoor work.

Details: The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash.

  • The health department recommends calling 911 immediately if you or someone else shows signs of heat stroke. Symptoms include fainting, confusion, nausea, headache, fast pulse, high body temperature and hot, red, dry or damp skin.
  • You may also need to seek medical attention if symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat cramps don't dissipate within one hour of getting out of the heat and cooling down.
  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion include vomiting, nausea, heavy sweating, weakness, headache, fainting, muscle cramps, dizziness and cold, pale, clammy skin. Symptoms of heat cramps include heavy sweating during intense exercise and muscle pain or spasms.
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