Summer is here, and in Arizona that comes with the occasional “Extreme Heat Advisory” and the dangers of over exposure. Here are some tips to modify your daily routines and avoid heat stroke (and a trip to the emergency room):
- Run errands, exercise or do outdoor work in the early mornings and late evenings as much as possible.
- Keep your car cool. Look for covered or shaded parking spots, crack your windows, use sunscreens, and never leave children or pets in the car!
- Wear shoes outside. The sidewalk can be hot enough to cause first-degree burns, particularly on the sensitive feet of toddlers.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing in a fabric designed to wick away sweat. Use sunscreen and remember to apply to the tops of your ears and the back of your neck. A hat and sunglasses protect your eyes and skin.
- Stay hydrated. Recommendations vary on the exact amount to drink, be sure to stay hydrated especially when you are exercising, working or playing outdoors. Drink about 16 ounces before you head out. Then drink about 8 ounces every 20 minutes or so.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
The heat can quickly make a healthy person ill, and, for the very young and chronically ill, heat can be even more stressful. This is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 then take measures to cool the person down and give water, if possible. The body can no longer cool itself, and as the body temperature rises, internal organ damage and death are possible.
Heat cramps: These muscle cramps are the first indicator that you need to drink more water and add electrolytes, such as those found in sports drinks. It happens when you sweat a lot without replacing fluids and electrolytes.
Heatstroke or sunstroke: Symptoms include flushed skin, vomiting, racing heart and rapid breathing.
We can’t all avoid the summer heat. But if you exercise precaution and common sense, we’ll all survive together. More summer safety tips.