Health Precautions During Summer
The two most common types of heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can occur after sun exposure or not drinking enough fluids after spending time outside. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
If heat exhaustion is not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is much more serious as body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot and dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. When someone is experiencing these symptoms, call for emergency medical assistance and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive. Without medical attention, death or permanent disability can occur.
- Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible. Air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. A fan may not be enough as a primary cooling device during an extreme heat event. If you cannot afford air-conditioning, then use cooler.
- If you can, avoid using the stove or oven to cook, which can make your house even hotter.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (more than usual), and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink liquids. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar as they can cause dehydration (loss of body fluids).
- If you must be outside in the heat, limit activity to morning and evening hours, and try to rest often in shady areas. Once back inside, take a cool shower or bath to cool down.
- Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Also use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher.