Millions of Americans sweat their way through the work week. Ask anyone from welders to road construction crews to factory workers during a sweltering summer: Extremely hot and humid working conditions are not confined to tropical countries.
If you’re one of those getting hot under the collar at work, you should be aware of the many health problems associated with laboring in extreme heat. Extreme heat can lead to on-the-job accidents. It can cause less serious ills like heat cramps, prickly heat, and heat exhaustion. In rare cases, heat can even be deadly. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s regulatory system fails and body temperature rises too high and can cause brain damage or death.
As summer weather heats up, it is important to recognize symptoms of heat stroke.
Normally, you regulate your body temperature by sweating. But in some cases, the body’s temperature-control system is overtaxed and your temperature rises too quickly.
Very high body temperature can cause damage to the brain and to other organs. People at highest risk of heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years old, people over 65, those who are overweight and those on certain medications.
The CDC says symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Body temperature above 103 degrees F.
- Red, hot and dry skin, and little or no sweating.
- Rapid, strong pulse.
- Throbbing headache.
- Loss of consciousness.