It’s technically not even summer yet, and we are breaking heat records around here. I’m no necessarily complaining- I have a pool and air conditioning.
Here are 13 ways to play it safe in the heat.
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
During hot weather you need to increase your fluid intake in order to stay hydrated.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
2. Replace Salt and Minerals
Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced.
3. Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen
Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.
4. Going outdoors? Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
5. Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
6. Stay Cool Indoors
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place such as your home or a public place such as a mall. Cool down with a cool shower and use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
7. Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
8. People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
9. This is an unfortunate thing that we must remind people of… Do Not Leave Children in Cars
Cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.This goes for pets too! (why do people do this?)
10. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
11. Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
12 Heat Stroke
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
- An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
- Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
If you see any of these signs, have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
- Get the victim to a shady area.
- Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. .
- Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
Call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
- Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
- Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
- Sometimes a victim’s muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.
13 Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. T
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- The skin may be cool and moist.
- The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.
If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:
- Symptoms are severe
- The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure
- Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
- Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
- Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
- An air-conditioned environment
- Lightweight clothing