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How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

O.D.’s Guide to Life: Wisdom from the Desk of the Office Dog

by O.D. (Office Dog) at Jill Tinkel’s State Farm Office

The Dog Days of Summer are here, which means LOTS of time enjoying the outdoors. Whether you’re chasing a tennis ball or a Pokémon (or your kids are chasing a Pokémon), you don’t have to have a fur coat on to know it gets pretty hot outside. With this in mind, Jill and I decided this month’s column should address heat-related illnesses and how to prevent and treat them. When everyone’s cool, the summer fun can go on and on!

Help Stop Heat-Related Illness Before It Starts

If the forecast points to excessive temperatures and sunshine:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to help your body keep up with increased sweating. Don’t forget to pack some water and a bowl for your furry friends and NEVER leave us in a hot car!
  • Avoid sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks. They can cause your body to lose more fluid than normal.
  • Dress for the weather. Loose-fitting and lightweight clothes are best. Stick to light colors; darker colors trap heat.

Heat Illness Symptoms and Treatments

Learn what to look for if you or someone else might be at risk.

Heat Cramps

Recognize it: Muscle cramps in the abdomen, arms, or legs during heavy exercise or strenuous activity.

Treat it: Stop exercising immediately. Rehydrate with water.

Heat Rash

Recognize it: An area of red pimples or small blisters caused by sweat ducts becoming blocked and swelling.

Treat it: Keep the area dry and head inside where it’s cooler and less humid.


Recognize it: Heavy sweating, pale skin, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and more.

Treat it: Rehydrate with cool beverages and go inside. If symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour, call 911.

Heat Stroke

Recognize it: Hot, dry skin or heavy sweating, flushed skin, high body temperature, rapid pulse, confusion, and more.

Treat it: Call 911, and try to lower the person’s body temperature by getting them to a shady area and placing ice packs or cool wet towels on their neck, armpits, and groin or immersing them in cool water.

Until next time, may your water bowl always be full and your tail waggin’!


O.D. appears courtesy of Jill Tinkel State Farm. For more information, please call (928) 537-5700. You can also visit O.D. at Jill Tinkel State Farm, 1881 E. Deuce of Clubs in Show Low. Stop in for Free Cookie Fridays for a fresh-baked cookie and a quote!

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