Extreme Heat: Heat Rash, Exhaustion, Stroke? Be Prepared!

Extreme heat introduction

This summer has brought a heat wave with unusually high temperatures that have lasted for weeks. High temperatures can be potentially dangerous to one's health.

People suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. Under some conditions, sweating is not enough to cool down the body. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate temperature include old age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn, and drug and alcohol use.