General Info on Staying Safe in the Summer Heat
With summer approaching we are on the fast track to being outdoors a lot once more. However, the summer heat can be brutal so it’s important to start thinking about small, but affective ways to protect yourself. Here we will list general ideas for staying safe in the sun this summer so you can enjoy all your outdoor activities worry free.
Limit your outdoor activity, particularly during midday when the sun is at its strongest.
Wear sunscreen and make sure you are good about reapplying it!
If you are participating in an outdoor activity, take it slow and pace yourself.
Drink more water than usual, even when you don’t “feel” thirsty.
Keep your clothes loose, lightweight, and light-colored.
Stay in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible.
If you are feeling too hot, try taking a cool shower or bath.
Keep an eye on the local news for safety updates during extreme heat.
What Does Extreme Heat do to Our Bodies?
Extreme heat can wreak havoc on our bodies and we aren’t talking about the obvious sweating, sunburn or heat rash that everyone is aware of either. Here are a few surprising things being in extreme heat can do to your body:
Fainting—this typically happens when you are new to a hot place and aren’t used to it. Make sure you stay hydrated if this is the case. When you get dehydrated it makes your brain have a hard time getting the blood it needs to function which then leads to the potential of passing out. If you do start to feel dizzy, lie down and raise your legs to get better blood flow to your head.
Heat Edema—extreme heat can cause your body to swell, a lot. This specifically happens in your fingers, toes and ankles and can cause your skin to feel tight. This isn’t serious and will go down once you go to a cool place and elevate your legs, but it sure can look and feel weird.
High heart rate-- when you overheat your heat can start to beat faster in order to pump more blood to your skin so it can release the extra heat. However, this can cause the rest of your body not to get enough blood causing sluggishness.
Lower blood pressure—heat makes your blood vessels dilate to increase sweating which also causes your blood pressure to drop. This can lead to dizziness and passing out if you are not careful.
Confusion—the warmer you get the harder it becomes to do even the simplest tasks. Most of the time this can simply be fixed by finding a cooler spot and something to drink, but if you are feeling sick on top of that it’s likely you are suffering from heatstroke and need immediate medical attention.
Warning Signs you have Overdone it
Heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are nothing to play with. If you or someone you are with appears to be experiencing any of these heat-related ailments get to work trying to cool them down and call professional help. In order to help you better identify if you have overdone your time in the sun, here are some symptoms to look for and which ailment they are associated with.
If someone you know is experiencing heat rash they will most likely exhibit red clusters of “pimples” or small blisters on their neck, upper chest, groin, under their breasts or in elbow creases.
Heat cramps are muscle pains/spasms that typically occur in the abdomen, arms or legs. You are most likely to experience heat cramping if you have been participating in a strenuous activity outside in extreme heat.
The following symptoms are most associated with either heat exhaustion or heat stroke and should be taken seriously immediately:
o A body temperature above 103 degrees.
o Red, hot skin that has no sweat.
o Throbbing headache.
o Heavy sweating.
o Muscle cramps.
o Rapid, strong pulse.
Summer is fun and there is nothing better than a day out in the sun, just make sure you do your homework ahead of time and come prepared. Sunscreen, shade, and good hydration options are your best friend to keep yourself, your friends and family safe, happy, and healthy all through the warm season. For even more tips and tricks to help you beat the heat check out this link.