Heat cramps are caused by the loss of complex salts (electrolytes) through an imbalance in the body’s fluid requirements. Simply put, the body is losing more fluids than it is replacing.
This causes the hard working muscles to lose their vital electrolyte balance, causing muscular contraction (cramping).
Signs and Symptoms
• Pale, clammy skin
• Cramping pains in the limbs or abdomen
• Uncontrolled spasms of affected limb(s)
First aid management
- Rest in the shade
- Gently stretch the affected muscle
- Apply an ice pack
- Give small sips of clear fluids
- Avoid any further exercise
Overexposure to Heat
Heat related conditions are those conditions brought on by exposure to high temperatures and humidity. The most spectacular example of a serious heat related problem occurs in long distance running events, which are conducted during hot and humid conditions.
Overexposure to heat can easily occur in workers who work in the direct sun such as construction workers, landscape gardeners etc. Overexposure to heat may induce heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
What should you do?
We all respond to emergencies in different ways.
Whether trained or untrained, some of us are afraid we will do the wrong thing and make the situation worse.
If you are unsure about what to do, call for an ambulance.
The worst thing to do is to do nothing.