Your body has an efficient mechanism for cooling itself down—it’s called perspiration.
However, sometimes perspiration is not enough to keep your body temperature at an acceptable level. This may lead to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke, a serious form of hyperthermia that requires immediate medical care. Seniors, preschool children, pregnant women, and people who are overweight or have a serious chronic illness (diabetes, for example) are particularly vulnerable to heat-related health problems. Lengthy exposure to high temperatures and humidity, especially during intense and prolonged physical activity, is also a risk. There are a few basic preventive measures that can help: cutting down on outdoor activities, staying in the shade or in air conditioned places such as shopping centers, drinking enough liquids (but avoiding alcoholic and very sweet drinks), and protecting yourself from the sun. During a heat wave, it’s also important to pay attention to your body so you can detect symptoms of overheating such as headache, weakness, muscle cramps, etc.