It’s here again – summertime. With another winter gone away, the weather has once again turned warm. Goodbye to cold days, snow, and harsh winds. In their place come warm days and light breezes. It can be easy to forget that with summertime comes the dangers of the sun. When it comes to managing the sun, learning how to protect yourself from heat exhaustion is vital.
Dangers of Heat Exhaustion
An average of six hundred and fifty-eight people die in the U.S. from heat exhaustion every year. That’s more deaths than most natural disasters, and the saddest part is that heat exhaustion is preventable.
Heat exhaustion is directly related to your water intake. The human body cools itself by sweating, but when you don’t drink enough, you have no water to seat. Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Too much sweating
• Muscle cramps
How to Protect Yourself from Heat Exhaustion
The number one way to protect yourself from heat exhaustion is to drink plenty of water. Young children and babies are especially at risk. The risk of heat exhaustion goes way up in certain conditions. One of the most dangerous conditions during this season is un-cranked cars. Thirty-eight children die each year from heat exhaustion in motor vehicles. In addition to drinking plenty of water you should also:
• Watch your alcohol intake.
• Wear cool clothes.
• Keep an eye on the weather.
Check Your Environment
Heat exhaustion is most common at high temperatures but can happen in temperatures as low as fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. Factors that could put you at a higher risk are your nutrition, your age, your blood pressure, and whether or not you’re in good shape.
In the springtime, it can be tempting to immediately rush outdoors, but pay attention to when you go outside. The hottest parts of the day can easily be avoided. Save your walk to the beach or family football game for early morning or evening, and you could save yourself a lot of trouble. If you do go outdoors during peak times, such as noon, make sure to limit your activity and stick to a cool area with plenty of shade.
What to Do if You are Affected
If you experience the symptoms of heat exhaustion, you should immediately turn to rehydrate yourself. You have to resupply your body with the nutrients it needs – minerals and salts. Coconut water is the best option for this. Water may keep you hydrated, but to get your body back into workable shape, you’ll need something with more to it. Avoid sports drinks. The negative effects of sports drinks far out way the positive.
See a Doctor
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should see a doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of heat exhaustion. However, a doctor isn’t always available – especially if you’re at the beach or on vacation. So, until you can make it to the doctor’s office, you should:
• Move to a cool spot.
• Drink something.
Enjoying the Summer
So, as summertime comes, and the weather gets warmer, make sure you take the proper steps to enjoy the sun safely. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, check the weather, and wear cool clothes. With the right preparation and being smart you can avoid heat exhaustion and have some springtime fun.