During the summer months, it's important to exercise caution when exposed the sun and warmer temperatures. Following these simple precautions will ensure a safe summer.
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body can't keep itself cool. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool when your sweat evaporates. On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isn't enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill.
Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot. It can be caused by physical exercise or hot weather. You may experience:
Feeling weak and/or confused
Dark-coloured urine, which indicates dehydration
Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life threatening. It results from long exposure to extreme sun and heat when a person does not sweat enough to lower their body temperature. The condition can develop quickly and requires medical attention immediately.
Our bodies produce heat, which is generally dissipated through our skin and sweating. However under some circumstances such as extreme heat, high humidity or vigorous activities in the sun/heat our system may not dissipate the heat quickly enough, causing our body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. Dehydration can lead to heat stroke if a person cannot sweat enough to cool his body.
When experiencing heat stroke symptoms may include:
Disorientation, agitation or confusion
Sluggishness or fatigue
Hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty
A high body temperature
Loss of consciousness
Rapid heart beat
Heat stroke is very serious and can cause permanent damage to internal organs or result in death. If someone is stricken with heat stroke,
Call for medical assistance
Move the person inside
Remove clothing and apply cool water and fanning to simulate sweating
Apply ice packs to groin and armpits
Have person lay down in cool area and elevate feet
Follow precautions for dehydration:
Wear hats, sunglasses and use umbrella to protect from sun
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing
Take frequent water breaks while outdoors
Limit exposure to sun on hot or humid days
Some medicines may make heat related illness worse. The following are drugs can put you in danger of heatstroke because they affect the way your body reacts to heat. Some of these medicines include:
Allergy medicines (antihistamines)
Some blood pressure and heart medicines (beta-blockers and vasoconstrictors)
Diet pills and illegal drugs such as cocaine (amphetamines)
Some medicines that treat mental health conditions (antidepressants and antipsycholtics)
Seizure medicines (anticonvulsants)
Water pills (diuretics)
Tell your doctor what medicines you are taking. He or she can tell you if your medicine puts you in danger of heatstroke.
When the heat index is high, stay indoors in air-conditioned areas when possible. If you must go outside, take the following precautions:
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat or using an umbrella.
Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
Drink plenty of water before starting an outdoor activity. Drink extra water all day. Keep in mind that heat-related illness are not only caused by high temperatures and a loss of fluids, but also a lack of salt in the body. Some sports drinks can help replenish the salt in your body lost through sweating.
Drink fewer beverages that contain caffeine (such as tea, coffee and soda) or alcohol.
Schedule vigorous outdoor activities for cooler times of the day -- before 10:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.
During an outdoor activity, take frequent breaks. Drink water or other fluids every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty. If you have clear, pale urine, you are probably drinking enough fluids. Dark-coloured urine is an indication that you're dehydrated.
If you have a chronic medical problem, ask your doctor about how to deal with the heat, about drinking extra fluids and about your medicines.
Be safe, be smart, stay hydrated and enjoy your summer!
Source: the Internet
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