Just going from my car to the front door of the office seems too far to walk in this heat. If you’re pregnant, having an increased exposure to heat may cause problems for you or your baby.
Exposure to excessive heat affects people differently. When you are pregnant, your body works hard to cool you and your baby. So, if you are pregnant, you are more likely to develop a heat related illness sooner than someone who is not pregnant.
Heat illnesses occur when your body’s efforts to cool itself (eg. sweating) are no longer effective. Heat illnesses include a rash often known as “prickly heat,” cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include a headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, weakness, thirst, being irritable, and having an increased body temperature.
Heat stroke is an emergency condition. It is when your body temperature goes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms include hot and dry skin or extreme sweating, a rapid pulse, throbbing head-ache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If untreated, it could result in permanent organ damage or even death. Seek medical attention or contact 911 immediately if someone you know has these symptoms.
Prevention is key
It is important that you take steps to stay cool and prevent heat related conditions, especially if you are pregnant. Here’s how:
Keep kids out of the heat, too
One more thing…each year at about this time, we hear of children being left in a hot car “for just a few minutes.” Tragic deaths from heat stroke can occur from leaving a child in an overheated closed car for a very short while.
Never leave a child unattended in a closed car – NEVER.
Children don’t have the same chemical makeup as adults, making it harder for their bodies to regulate temperature. Take steps to protect your child from heat-related illnesses by setting reminders. Here are a few tips to prevent a tragedy, from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And if something goes wrong, we offer information and comfort to families. We research the problems that threaten our babies and work on preventing them.
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