Summer is finally here! It's a great time of year especially for spending time outdoors; however, it can also be dangerous if you spend too long in the heat.
There are numerous heat-related illnesses that can occur if you don't take the proper precautions. Some of these include:
heat cramps - cramps that normally happen during times of strenuous work. Occurs when you lose large amounts of fluids.
heat exhaustion - when you sweat heavily your body loses large amounts of fluids, this can lead to heat exhaustion. The loss of fluids can affect your brain function causing symptoms such as dizziness, confusion and headaches.
heat stroke - long periods spent in extreme heat can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body cannot regulate it's temperature by sweating.
Below are some tips you can follow to help beat the heat this summer and stay safe (courtesy of MedicineNet.com):
1. Flowy, loose-fitting, cotton clothing will help keep you cool in the heat.
2. If you tend to exercise outdoors, try changing your routine to the morning or late evening when the sun is lower (and therefore less hot).
3. Make sure your home has a fan or air conditioner to help circulate air and keep you cool.
4. Take a shower in cool or lukewarm water.
5. Make sure to drink lots of water. Dehydration is characterized by muscle cramps, nausea, and lightheadedness.
6. Try avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as these can lead to dehydration - especially in extreme heat!
7. Use your head! If the heat is extreme, make sure to stay in the shade or indoors as long as possible. This is especially important for the elderly, children and pets!