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Heat-Related Illnesses - Prevention

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Staying physically fit can help you acclimate to a hot environment. Before you travel to or work in a hotter environment, use gradual physical conditioning. This takes about 8 to 14 days for adults. Children require 10 to 14 days for their bodies to acclimate to the heat. If you travel to a hot environment and are not accustomed to the heat, cut your usual outside physical activities in half for the first 4 to 5 days. Gradually increase your activities after your body adjusts to the heat and level of activity.

Be aware that when the outdoor humidity is greater than 75%, the body's ability to lose heat by sweating is decreased. Other ways of keeping cool need to be used. The National Weather Service lists a heat index each day in the newspaper to alert people of the risk for a heat-related illness in relation to the air temperature and humidity of that day. Direct exposure to the sun can increase the risk of a heat-related illness on days when the heat index is high.

People who have had heatstroke in the past may be more sensitive to the effects of heat in the first few months following the illness, but they do not have long-term problems.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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