Beat The Heat
Did you know that the highest recorded temperature in the Coachella Valley was 123 degrees Fahrenheit? According to the local news channel KESQ there has been a few occasions when the temperature reached above 120 degrees. When temperatures reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a heat advisory in effect. A heat advisory is a warning to people living in the area that the temperature outside is possible of causing sickness or even death. As a resident of the Coachella Valley you know that temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for majority of the year. In this article I will provide some tips for surviving the heat, and how to reduce possibility of heat injuries.
First, let us discuss who is more susceptible to suffer from heat illness. According to the Mayo clinic there are a few factors making certain people more susceptible to the heat. These factors include age, certain drugs a person may be on, obesity, sudden temperature changes and the location that may be in a heat index or warning. The ages that are effect are younger than four years old, and older than sixty-five. Medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, antihistamines, tranquilizers and antipsychotics are known to increase a person’s core temperature and make anyone taking these medications more susceptible to heat illnesses. Obesity causes the body to have a difficult time regulating temperature, causing obese people to have a faster reaction from heat. Sudden temperature changes or coming from a different type of climate to extreme temperatures can be a shock to those who are not used to the heat/cold. For example, the many people who come to visit the Coachella Valley, or California in general are not used to the extreme heat. They are more susceptible because their body has not had a chance to adjust to the heat. If there is a heat index everyone is considered to be at risk of heat illness. When humidity is high and temperatures are high, the sweat cannot evaporate off the skin and it causes the body to overheat.
Second, we will discuss the types of heat sickness and some warning signs of each. The most common forms of heat illness are heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash. According to OSHA the signs and symptoms of each are the following: Heat illness usually starts with a heat rash. Heat rash is a seen as a clusters of red bumps on skin and often appears on neck, upper chest, folds of skin. Another common first indicator of heat illness is heat cramps. Heat cramps are defined as Muscle spasms or pain, usually in abdomen, arms, or legs. If a person is still exposed to heat after these two things start showing symptoms it may turn into heat exhaustion. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are described as cool, moist skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, light headedness, general weakness, thirst, irritability, and a fast heartbeat. One of the worst possible heat illnesses is heat stroke. The symptoms of a heat stroke are sudden confusion, fainting, seizures, excessive sweating or red, hot, dry skin and a very high body temperature.