Severe heat isn’t unusual this time of year in South Carolina. But even if South Carolinians are used to the heat, they still can run into serious heat-related health problems.
State health officials remind you of the symptoms of heat stroke: extremely high body temperature, red and dry skin, rapid pulse and confusion. If allowed to progress too far, heat stroke can cause brain damage, loss of consciousness and even death. If you recognize those symptoms, call 911.
If you have to be outside during the heat of the day, take frequent breaks in the shade or do strenuous work activities only during the early morning or late afternoon hours.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. Drink plenty of water but avoid heavily sweetened, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Watch out for others working or playing in the heat.
Heat stress is the precursor to heat stroke, and its symptoms include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache and/or a weak but rapid pulse.