Heat-related illness is very often dismissed as an unlikely risk that warm temperatures pose to those who work and play in them. Adults and children alike sometimes spend hours outdoors at a time, and whether it is a job, summer camp, football practice or a child having been left inside a hot car, the results of heat injury can be devastating to the victims and their families. More often than not, though, the dangers of heat illness are minimized and those who are responsible for the welfare of others who work and play in the heat must be aware of the consequences of heat illness.
Data from the Department of Geosciences and San Francisco State University cite 33 deaths of children left in cars in 2012, and that 51% of the time the child was forgotten by the caregiver and left there on accident; frighteningly in 18% of these cases the adult intentionally left that child in the vehicle, which resulted in its death.
OSHA has recently initiated a campaign to make workers more aware of the dangers, signs and symptoms of heat stroke, as many workers are exposed to humid, hot conditions without little rest or shade. Construction, trade/ transportation/ utility and agricultural workers are listed as the top three professions that are more likely to experience heat injury.
The attorneys of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are aware that heat injury can be an unintended side effect of an enjoyable activity, but that it can also be the result of a caregiver, coach or employer’s negligent behavior. The fear of whether a victim of heat injury will survive can be extremely traumatic — both for the victim and for their family.
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Classifications Of Heat Stroke
Depending on the circumstances and severity of the conditions, heat injuries can present themselves in various forms. A number of heat-related illnesses exist, but the following are some of the most common and widely reported classifications of heat stroke include:
- Heat edema: A cutaneous condition that causes the blood vessels to expand, moving body fluid into the hands, feet or legs. High amounts of salt in the body can spur on heat edema, and older adults who have poor circulation may be at risk of this condition.
- Heat syncope: Individual overheats and faints as a result.
- Heat stroke: Defined as a body temperature over 105.1 °F due to environmental heat exposure with lack in thermoregulation, or the body’s ability to keep itself at a normal temperature.
- Heat exhaustion: A precursor to heat stroke.
- Heat cramps: Muscle pains as a result of exercise in hot weather.
- Heat rash: Excessive sweating caused by heat which causes a skin irritation, usually in areas that touch, such as behind the knees or the inside of elbows.
- Heat tetany: A seizure brought on by heat, usually from short periods of stress in intense heat.
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Heat Stroke Symptoms & Causes
Each classification of heat illness and injury will bear its own warning signs, and various scenarios will contribute to an individual experiencing a specific classification.
As an example, a child left inside a car will experience temperatures rising to 120 °F and as a result, will likely die of heat stroke, while heat rash can occur from an extended period of sweating in hot temperatures.
The following are the most commonly reported symptoms of heat injury:
- Numbness or tingling
- Quick, weakened pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Respiratory problems
- Sweating ceases; skin becomes dry
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, seek medical help and report them immediately. Following receiving medical attention, contact a Connecticut personal injury lawyer with experience in heat-related illness, injury and death. A competent litigator can put your mind at ease while helping you to navigate the legal process while you seek justice for the injuries you have incurred.
Heat Injury Prevention
There are several simple precautions that can be taken to avoid heat illness. The following tips are general guidelines on how to stay safe in high heat conditions:
- Never leave a child in a car unattended
- Wear breathable, loose fitting clothing
- Hydrate regularly and take breaks from physical activity
- Seek shade
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine or heavy meals
- Block direct sun
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat injury and illness
Have Questions? Contact Our Hartford Heat Injury Lawyers Today
The personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers realize the impact heat injuries can have on not only on the victim’s life, but the family’s, too. We know that these injuries bring unnecessary sickness and potential death to the victims, who too often are not educated on the signs and symptoms, making it more difficult to avoid.
Our legal team has over 140 years of combined legal experience and will fight for the MAXIMUM compensation that you may be eligible to receive. Call 800-PERKINS or complete the 100% Free Case Evaluation Form to see how the lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers could help you on your road to recovery from traumatic brain injury.