What are heat-related illnesses?

As the weather changes and the days start getting hot, you mind may wander to those long, hot days ahead. If you work outside in Texas, there is a very real risk of a heat-related illness. It is essential for you and your employer to plan ahead and be prepared so you are not put at risk for such an illness. It starts with understanding what these illnesses are.

Prolonged exposure to heat or short-term exposure to intense heat can lead to a heat-related illness, according to WebMD. There are three general types of illnesses. They include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

Heat stroke is the most serious. It is when your body gets so overheated it can no longer cool itself down. Your body's natural ability to sweat is diminished. Your temperature keeps rising. Eventually, your brain, heart and other organs are deprived of blood they need to function properly.

Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are less severe. They both occur when your body losses a lot of water and salt. You may feel weak and even lose consciousness.

The best way to prevent a heat-related illness is to limit your exposure to heat. Take breaks and get into a cool area regularly during the work day. May sure to stay hydrated as well. Finally, pay attention to warning signs, such as feeling excessively hot, a reduction in sweat and changes in your mental capacity. Also, be aware that people who are obese, the elderly and children are most at risk. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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