How to prevent a heat wave from making you sick
Summer heat waves can be dangerous. Learn how to protect your health when temperatures are very high.
No, Literally? Heat during summers can be dangerous; heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash are some problems that occur when you are overheated. Vice versa, some illnesses can also cause your body not to cool down easily. Here’s what you need to know about the effects of hot weather and what you can do to keep cool.
When your body gets over heated, you will experience symptoms like- hot, dry, red skin, rapid pulse, body temperature ≥105°F, rapid or shallow breathing, unconsciousness, heavy sweating, vomiting, cold and pale skin, nausea, weakness, headache, and dizziness.
The body sweats a lot in heat which robs it of the essential salts and minerals. To restore those minerals, you must keep your body hydrated. Water is the best drink that replenishes the body. You can also consume juices and sports drink. However, stay away from caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, and cola because they are diuretics and cause dehydration. Also, you must eat light but regular meals.
This is no rocket science that staying in a cool area is the best way to beat the heat. You should stay in an air-conditioned room if you can afford to. Coolers, fans, a cool bath are all good options to cool off. If you work on field whole day, you can go to a shopping mall or public building for a few hours to find relief.
The importance of sunscreen can’t be stressed enough in preventing against tanning and skin cancer. Use a sun block with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 and above. If you work outdoors, you must reapply it every 2 hours to stay protected.
Even clothing light can help prevent heat stroked. Choose lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing. If you are comfortable, go for full-sleeved shirts or tops. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will keep the head cool and face shaded.
Be less active during the hottest hours of the day- between 11.00 AM and 4.00 PM. Schedule your activities before noon or late in the evening. If you have to be out during the hot hours, rest often in a shady area and never ever leave your kids or pets in a parked car. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes.
If you are not used to working or exercising in hot weather, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. Take frequent, regularly scheduled breaks. If activity in the heat makes your heart pound or leaves you gasping for breath, stop activity, and get into a cool or shady area, and rest. Especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or feel faint.
If you know someone who is elderly or has a health condition, check on them twice a day during a heat wave. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Ask your family and friends to do the same for you and others.
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