Be Smart about the Hot Days of Summer

Advertisement

Many areas of the United States are seeing heat waves with temperatures reaching dangerous levels. It is possible to be smart about the hot days of summer. To have fun in the sun safely.

Those most vulnerable to the heat are the very young, the elderly, and anyone with chronic health issues.

Precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses include:

* Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and use a hat or umbrella.

* Don't just carry water or juice with you. Drink it, even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the body.

* Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. If you must do something physically demanding (work or football/band practice), try to do it during the coolest part of the day (between 4 am and 7 am). If you must do it later in the day, remember fluids. If you are sweating, you are losing fluids and salts. Consider drinking one 8-oz Gatorade for every 1-3 8-oz water.

Advertisement

* Take regular breaks when engaging in physical activity on warm/hot days. Take time out to find a cool place (shade tree, indoors, lake).

Symptoms of heat-related illness include muscle and abdominal cramps, heavy (or worse – have stopped) sweating, headache, dizziness, and nausea / vomiting.

Pets can become overheated too. When you include them in your outdoor activities (walking, picnics, etc) be sure to make sure they have plenty of water and shade. Never leave a dog in a car, even for a few minutes.

Sources:

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke -- eMedicineHealth

When the Sun Goes Up, Don’t Let Your Guard Down
By Julie Irby , Special to Redcross.org

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness -- CDC
Heat exhaustion: First aid -- MayoClinic.com

Advertisement