Alabama Department of Public Health advises the public to be alert to the warning signs of heat illnesses

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ALABAMA (WRBL) – Heat indices are rising into the triple digits and the Alabama Department of Public Health wants the public to be vigilant on the warning signs of heat illnesses.

They are specifically asking the public to be on the look-out for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Heat cramps– include muscle pains or spasms (abdomen, arms or legs), profuse sweat, and high salt concentration in the sweat.

Heat exhaustion– is associated with heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, or vomiting and fainting. Other possible symptoms may include cool and moist skin, fast and weak pulse rate, fast and shallow breathing, or irritability. Older adults, those with high blood pressure and those working or exercising in a hot environment are prone to heat exhaustion. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it may progress to heatstroke.

Heat stroke or sun stroke – the most serious heat-related illness, a life-threatening problem, may occur when the body is unable to control its temperature. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees F or higher within 10 -15 minutes. Signs include an extremely high body temperature, red, hot and dry or moist skin, rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, dehydration, combativeness or confusion, and unconsciousness. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and even with immediate treatment, it can be life-threatening or cause serious long-term problems.

It’s recommended that people stay hydrated, out of direct sunlight, and under the cool temperatures of an air-conditioning unit if possible. It is also recommended that you wear a wide-brimmed hat loose fitting clothing, light colored clothing, use sunscreen of spf-15 or higher. The Alabama Department of Public Health additionally recommends that the public reduce or eliminate strenuous activities during the hottest times of the day.

People with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, poor circulation, or previous stroke problems, people of older and younger ages, and those taking certain medications are at higher risk of facing heat related health issues.

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