Summer is a great time to get outdoors and have fun. The warmth of the sun, fresh smelling grass, and beautiful flowers make us happy after a cold winter. One thing to remember, though, is that while the sun is great, the generated heat can also make us very sick if we’re not careful. Here are some tips to follow to keep you safe this summer while you’re having fun.
Summer: Excessive Sweating is Dangerous
Sweating is our natural cooling system. It draws heat away from our bodies and cools us down. However, excessive sweating is dangerous as it pulls away too much water and salt. Consequently, body temperature rises dangerously, and you can get nauseous, lightheaded, and weak. Get into the shade, and drink something with salt and sugar. Water is fine if that’s only available. A delay could lead to heatstroke.
This is a most dangerous condition. Body temperature can go above 104 degrees. The skin gets warm and dry. Confusion and agitation may set in, together with a a fast pulse, nausea, and a headache. Left untreated, it may cause seizures, coma, and can be life-threatening. Get to a cool area, and if possible, drink and pack ice under your arms and between your legs. Call 911.
You won’t even realize it until you start having symptoms. When it’s very hot, you can sweat away too much fluid, along with essential minerals like sodium and potassium. Symptoms are dizziness, lighthead, and confusion. You could even feel dizzy, lightheaded, and confused. Head for a cool place and drink something balanced with salt and sugar. Serious cases need emergency care.
Out in the sun too long without protection can lead to burned skin that is itchy and painful. A serious burn can leave you with blisters, headache, fever, and nausea. Prevent sunburn with clothes, hats, and broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.
Summer: Skin Edema
Heat can cause your fingers, toes, or ankles to swell.Cool down and elevate your legs. If it persists, get medical attention.
Summer: Take Precautions
Stay safe and be careful this summer. People with chronic illness and our senior citizens need to be especially careful. Here are some tips to follow:
- Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which dehydrate you.
- Eat lighter meals, more often.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Check on loved ones who live alone or don’t have air conditioning.
- Stay inside as much as possible and avoid outdoor chores.
- Never leave a child or pet alone while in a car, or even if it’s not that hot outside.