Heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke: How to see the signs

Health

BAY COUNTY, FL (WMBB) – As we move through August, temperatures here in the panhandle are getting higher and higher.

With the high temperatures and humidity, those of you spending your day outdoors are more likely to be affected by the heat.

“We had to pull the hats and the long sleeves out so it was so hot,” Mitzi Grizzard, an Alabama resident visiting Panama City Beach, said.

The heat is even affecting pets.

“It was extremely hot, so hot that I was sweating to death when I walked my doggies and they were panting like crazy,” Brenda Lowe, a Georgia resident visiting the area, said.

Temperatures in the 90s and high humidity puts everyone at risk to be impacted by the heat.

“You’re out there in the heat for long periods of time and you start to lose a lot of buddy fluid and this can take a toll on your body.”

Graham Tolbert, Division Chief of fire prevention and public education at the Panama City Fire Department

Tolbert works as the Division Chief of fire prevention and public education at the Panama City Fire Department. He says they see many cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke this time of year and it is important to be able to recognize the signs.

“With heat exhaustion, we’re gonna be fatigued, we’re gonna be dizzy, nauseous, we’re gonna have cool and clammy skin and we’re gonna be excessively sweating,” Tolbert said. 

To recover from heat exhaustion, Tolbert says to find a shady place, loosen your clothing and drink cold water.

Heat stroke has similar symptoms but can be more dangerous.

“You’re going to have redness of the skin and nausea, dizziness, and fatigue also,” Tolbert said. “But we’re gonna stop sweating and we’re not perspiring anymore. This is more serious, we’re gonna have to call for medical attention.”

The hot sun also can do a number on your skin so reapplying sunscreen and wearing hats can also help to keep you safe.

Tolbert says the best way to prevent heat exhaustion and stroke is to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. This is because when it is hot we sweat and are losing the fluids in your body so it is important to keep hydrated.

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