First Aid For Heat Cramps
Procedure to Provide First Aid for Heat Cramps
A person who has been working in very hot weather may feel dehydrated and suffer from heat cramps. This means that he has painful spasms in the muscles of the back of the leg, that involves the calf and the hamstring muscles or the muscles of the abdomen. However, the heat cramps are not life threatening like a heat stroke and can be cured by simple first aid.
First Aid for Heat Cramps
- The person suffering from heat cramps may be out in the sun and must be brought to a cool shaded area.
- Since it is the leg muscle which is usually affected, the muscles of the calf and thigh should be stretched to relieve the pain.
- A person suffering from heat cramps feels dehydrated levels of salt dropping. So he must be given water mixed with salt immediately. He can also be given a salt cracker along with water. A small amount of salt would be sufficient to make him feel better.
- He could also be given drinks like electrolyte beverages which would restore the salt content in the body. If the affected person is given only salt, it would not make up for loss of fluid in the body.
- If any clothing of the affected person is tight, it needs to be removed or loosened.
- It is better for the victim to rest rather than again start work in the heat.
- He should be monitored for a little while. His temperature should be checked and if it is found that he having a high fever and appears confused, he may not be just suffering from heat cramps but may be prone to heat stroke. This would need immediate medical attention.
Prevention of Heat Cramps
Though first aid for heat cramps can be provided easily, it would be better to prevent heat cramps in the first place.
- A person working for long hours in the heat needs to increase his water and salt intake.
- It is better to take rest in the shade at regular intervals.
Heat cramps result from being exposed to hot temperatures for long periods of time or too much physical activity in the heat. First aid for heat cramps is simple and with timely help, the affected person would surely recuperate soon.
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