Tips for Keeping Seniors Cool and Avoiding Heat Exhaustion
Tips for Keeping Seniors Cool and
Avoiding Heat Exhaustion
With temperatures scorching throughout the country this summer, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants people to be
According to a CDC study published in the June 6 journal Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report, 650 deaths each year from extreme heat could
have been prevented.
In total, there were 7,233 heat-related deaths from 1999 to 2009.
“Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable,” said lead author
Ethel Taylor, a researcher for the CDC.
“Taking steps to stay cool, hydrated and
informed in extreme temperatures can prevent
serious health effects like heat exhaustion and
heat stroke.” Those most at risk for heat
Illnesses and death are the elderly, children,
the poor and those with pre-existing medical
conditions, so it’s also important to keep an
extra set of eyes on people in these
populations to ensure they’re staying safe.
What is Heat Stroke and How Do You Get Heat Exhaustion?
Heat stroke is a condition in which the body cannot regulate its own
temperature, and may lead to death or permanent disability. Symptoms
include a high body temperature above 103 degrees, dizziness, nausea,
confusion and unconsciousness. People may also have red, hot and dry skin
with no sweating and a rapid pulse.
They could also have a painful headache. If someone is experiencing
heat stroke, get them to a shady area and help cool them with whatever
methods you know including putting them in a tub of cool water or a
Try to get their body temperature to drop to
102 or 101 degrees. Do not give the victim
something to drink, and get them medical
attention as fast as possible.
Heat exhaustion, on the other hand, is a milder form of illness which can
occur after a few days of exposure to high heat without replenishing
fluids. Signs include heavy sweating, paleness, muscles cramps, fatigue,
weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting and fainting.
The person may have a fast and weak pulse as well as breathing, and the
skin may be cool and moist.
If you see someone experiencing heat exhaustion, make sure they cool
off through rest and by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Also, stay
in colder area. Seek medical help if symptoms worsen or persist over an
Here are some helpful tips from the CDC for the hot weather:
• Try to keep their body temperatures down and stay hydrated
• Wear appropriate clothing for the occasion, whether indoors or
• Be aware of extreme heat events and warning signs for
heat-related illness to look for
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