First, note that the temperature reading on a thermometer is not necessarily the temperature that you should be concerned about. The relative humidity in your environment can affect the temperature you actually feel, which is called the “apparent temperature.
If the air temperature reads 85˚F (29˚C), but there’s zero humidity, the temperature will actually feel like it’s 78˚F (26 ˚C). If the air temperature reads 85˚F (29˚C), with 80 percent humidity, it will actually feel like 97˚F (36˚C).
High environmental temperatures can be dangerous to your body. In the range of 90˚ and 105˚F (32˚ and 40˚C), you can experience heat cramps and exhaustion. Between 105˚ and 130˚F (40˚ and 54˚C), heat exhaustion is more likely. You should limit your activities at this range. An environmental temperature over 130˚F (54˚C) often leads to heatstroke.
If someone loses consciousness and shows one or more of the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 right away.To treat heat exhaustion, try to keep yourself cool with cold, damp cloths around your body and slowly take small sips of water until the symptoms begin to fade. Try to get out of the heat. Find some place with air conditioning or a lower temperature (especially out of direct sunlight). Rest on a couch or bed.To treat heatstroke, cover yourself with cold, damp cloths or take a cold bath to normalize your body temperature. Get out of the heat immediately to a place with a lower temperature. Don’t drink anything until you (or the person experiencing heatstroke) receive medical attention.
Stay well-hydrated to best avoid heat-related illness. Drink enough fluids so that your urine is light-colored or clear. Don’t rely solely on thirst as a guide to how much liquid you should be drinking. When you lose a lot of fluids or sweat profusely, be sure to replace electrolytes as well.Wear clothing that is appropriate to your environment. Clothes that are too thick or too warm can quickly cause you to become overheated. If you feel yourself getting too hot, loosen your clothing or remove excess clothing until you feel cool enough. Wear sunscreen when possible to avoid sunburn, which makes it harder for your body to get rid of excess heat.
As with high temperatures, don’t rely solely on the thermometer reading of environmental air for gauging cold temperatures. The speed of the wind and external body moisture can cause a chill that dramatically changes your body’s rate of cooling and how you feel. In extremely cold weather, especially with a high wind chill factor, you can quickly experience the onset of hypothermia. Falling into cold water can also result in immersion hypothermia.
If someone passes out, shows multiple symptoms listed above, and has a body temperature of 95˚F (35˚C) or lower, call 911 immediately. Perform CPR if the person isn’t breathing or doesn’t have a pulse.To treat hypothermia, get out of the cold as soon as possible and to a warmer environment. Remove any damp or wet clothing and start warming up the middle areas of your body, including your head, neck, and chest, with a heating pad or against the skin of someone with a normal body temperature. Drink something warm to gradually increase your body temperature, but don’t have anything alcoholic.