5 Tips to prevent heat exhaustion

By June 8, 2016health
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Heat exhaustion prevention tipsIt’s summertime again! For those of us in the south, that means we’re looking at really hot, really humid weather. And with as hot as it gets, we need to be really careful! Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and sunburn are all risks we take by spending time outside. Nobody wants to stay cooped up in the house all summer though. Thankfully, there are certain precautions that can be taken to make sure we don’t get sick.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is what happens when we’ve spent too much time out in high temperatures. The loss of body fluids and salts can cause the following symptoms:

    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Dark urine
    • Urinating less frequently
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Profuse sweating
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Muscle cramps
    • Nausea
  • Pale skin

How do I prevent heat exhaustion?

The easiest way to prevent heat exhaustion is to simply avoid the heat entirely. If you must go outside, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day, generally around 3pm. After 3, the sun has gone down enough that heat is able to dissipate. You can also wear light-colored, loose fitting, lightweight clothing. Tight or dark clothing traps heat against your body and makes it more difficult to cool off.

Make sure you stay hydrated as well. Dehydration is one of the biggest culprits of heat exhaustion. Drink plenty of water, while avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Protect yourself from sunburn; apply sunscreen (a minimum of 15 SPF) as often as required by the instructions. When you are sunburnt, it hinders your body’s ability to get rid of heat. You should also avoid any strenuous activity. If you must, hydrate frequently and take regular breaks in a cool place.

How do I treat heat exhaustion?

To treat heat exhaustion you need to do two things: cool your body down, and rehydrate. The first and most important thing you need to do is get out of the heat. Get in a cool room, or at the very least, a cool shady spot. Remove tight or unnecessary clothing as well. Then you can take a cool shower, use fans, or cold towels to lower your body temperature. Drink lots of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic drinks to restore any fluids you’ve lost.

If these remedies do not provide any relief after 30 minutes, seek medical advice. Untreated heat exhaustion can easily turn into heatstroke if you aren’t careful. If you’re experiencing severe heat exhaustion, come see us and we’ll get you taken care of.