It’s already midsummer and temperatures are high. While it can be fun to spend time in the hot summer sun, it’s also important to prevent heat exhaustion. Common signs of heat exhaustion include confusion, dizziness and fainting. To avoid heat exhaustion, drink plenty of fluids and take a cool shower. More serious symptoms such as unconsciousness, lack of sweating, or seizures could be a sign of heat stroke which is a medical emergency. Heat stroke is more common among adults 50 and older, but it can happen to anyone who is outside for a long period of time or is working out in high temperatures.
When the humidity is high, the heat index (or what is referred to as the “real feel” by some weather services), is higher than the actual temperature. The humidity hinders your body’s natural cooling mechanism by preventing sweat evaporation. The risk of heat related illnesses increases dramatically when the heat index is 90 degrees or higher.
When the heat index is high, use the following tips to prevent heat exhaustion:
- Take breaks in air conditioned spaces, when possible
- Wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
Mayo Clinc, http://www.mayoclinic.org/