Summer officially kicks off tomorrow, and with that comes warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine. After a long winter everybody is excited to be outside as much as possible, but as the temperatures soar so do cases of heat related illness, which includes heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration. Heat injuries are dangerous and must be taken seriously as they can be fatal.
Symptoms of heat related illness include dizziness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, nausea, headaches, and cold or clammy skin. To avoid getting sick, follow these simple rules:
- Drink plenty of water and sports drinks: Be sure to drink non-alcoholic, low sugar drinks, preferable a combination of both water and sports drinks that replenish your salt and mineral reserves that are depleted by sweating.
- Limit outdoor activity: Try to avoid being outside during peak heat times that occur during midday hours and instead schedule outdoor activity for the morning or evening.
- Pace yourself: Don’t push yourself if you are not used to the higher temperatures. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outdoors working or exercising.
- Take breaks: Regularly stop activity to rest in the shade or, if possible, indoors where there is air conditioning.
- Wear the proper clothing: Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing, as well as plenty of sunblock, sunglasses, and a light, wide brimmed hat.
If you follow all of these tips, you will have a fun, heat stress free summer!