Simply put, heat stress happens when the body’s very own mechanism of controlling its temperature fails. During the hottest months of the year, people are at higher risk of ending up with heat stress. However, it can happen to anyone at any given time or day, such as those who are partaking in intense exercise, sports and other physical activities. Heat stress is also very common in the workplace especially if the environment, work rate and clothing worn by the individual can cause the body to become overheated.
If you are interested to know more about heat stress, keep on reading. Don’t forget to repost this article on your various social media sites afterwards to also get everyone you care about know some of the most important matters about heat stress.
Situations That Can Cause Heat Stress
Just about any circumstance that can cause the body to heat up excessively can cause heat stress to strike. Here are some examples of situations that can cause someone to suffer from heat stress:
Working in an area or place that is not properly ventilated
Wearing clothes that keep the body from cooling or sweat from evaporating
Increased work rate that causes the body’s core temperature to rise
Walking or engaging in activities under the sweltering sun
Partaking in intense forms of exercises
The risk of suffering from heat stress is increased if the individual fails to consume enough water in order to replace lost fluids by means of profuse sweating and to help the body cool down. Also, the various symptoms which will be discussed next tend to worsen the longer the above-mentioned situations or factors are sustained.
How the Body Overheats
Once the body detects that it is exposed to more heat than necessary, the blood vessels dilate to help with the cooling down process. When this happens, the heart rate increases in order to make sure that those dilated blood vessels are filled with blood. Unfortunately, such can strain the body even more.
The sweat glands will produce more sweat in an attempt to dissipate most of the heat. However, such may not be enough as the body is getting more heat than it can deal with. Also, excessive sweating can lead to dehydration.
Signs and Symptoms
Because different people react differently to various internal and external stimulus or changes, the symptoms of heat stress tend to vary from person to person. Also, experts say that some people are simply more responsive to changes in the core temperature of the body.
Typical signs and symptoms of heat stress include:
Inability to focus
If not managed right away and effectively, heat stress may lead to heat stroke. Someone who is having a heat stroke has a hot skin that’s dry, confusion, convulsions and even loss of consciousness. A heat stroke may be regarded as the most severe complication of heat stress, and medical authorities say that it can lead to death if not detected and treated right away.
Managing Heat Stress
After some time, people naturally adapt to heat. One way such is achieved is by sweating more, which enables the body to cool down more effectively. Slowly getting used to a hot working environment or intense work rate or physical activity can also help in minimizing heat stress risk.
There are many behavioral changes that may be carried out in order to fend off heat stress. Some of them include removing clothes, fanning themselves, taking themselves to cooler areas, reducing the intensity of the work or exercise, and drinking water.
In the workplace, excessive heat may be controlled with the help of fans and air conditioners, or with the addition or use of physical barriers that can shield the workers from radiant heat.