Common Illnesses

Heat Alert

When summer is here and a heat wave is on, outdoor activity can be dangerous. Temperatures in the 80s and 90s with high levels of humidity combined with intense exercise can increase your chances of having heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The danger zone is when the temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is 78% and extends to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 67% humidity. When weather conditions reach the danger zone, no one should exercise. Wait until conditions improve.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include a weak and rapid pulse, cold, clammy and pale skin, headache, dizziness and generalized weakness. If you experience these symptoms while exercising, stop and lie down in a cool spot. 

Heat stroke is much more serious. The skin becomes hot and dry, sweating is absent and the person may complain of headache, dizziness, faintness and abdominal distress. They may be confused and lethargic. Breathing may be rapid and weak and blood pressure is usually low. The body temperature may be greater than 106 degrees. Immediate medical attention is required if symptoms appear, as coma and shock may occur or even death.

Ways to avert heat stress are exercising in the cooler hours of the morning or evening, wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and drinking lots of fluids.

Any questions or concerns, call Student Health Services 978-934-4991.