Protect yourself from the heat this summer! Use the following tips to prevent serious issues caused by heat exposure:
• Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
• Don’t drink fluids that contain large amounts of sugar.
• Sports drinks can help replace the salt and minerals you lose when you sweat.
• Wear light weight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
• Electric fans make dealing with the heat more comfortable, but when temperatures are in the 90s, fans will not prevent heat related illness.
• Some of the best ways to cool down is by taking a cool shower or just by moving to a cool air-conditioned place.
• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunglasses, wide-brimmed hat, and apply sunscreen.
Identifying Different Heat Related Illnesses:
- Heat Stroke: Symptoms include dry skin, dizziness, and a rapid strong pulse. With heat stroke, body temperature can rise up to 106° and can be life-threatening.
- Heat Exhaustion: Can happen before a heat stroke with symptoms of heavy sweating, nausea, light-headedness, rapid breathing, and a fast weak pulse.
- Heat Cramps: Muscle pains or spasms that happen during exercise and also includes heavy sweating as well as feeling weak or light-headed.
- Heat Rash: Skin irritation from excessive sweating.
Treating Heat Related Illnesses:
- Treat a person by having them rest in a cool place, have legs slightly elevated for heat stroke and exhaustion. Give them a sports drink like Gatorade® or PowerAde®, or water if sport drinks are not available. Spray the person with water to help cool them down more and massage away muscle cramps.