The sun and heat is a big part of why we love summer. But, but don’t forget that fun in the sun can quickly turn dangerous, especially when both the temperature and the relative humidity are high.
Heat-related illness can be prevented with careful planning, and early action when the first signs of heat exhaustion are recognized.
Please protect yourself and the ones you care for by reviewing this excellent guide.
When you're thirsty, you could already be dehydrated, having lost as much as 1-2% of your body's water content.
Drink small amounts of water often. A good rule of thumb is to drink about 4 cups of water every hour.
Be mindful of the fluid intake of those you care for, too. Encourage them to choose water over soda and other drinks containing caffeine and sugar. Check routinely to make sure they are making use of water and shade and not experiencing heat-related symptoms.
Staying hydrated is one simple step towards a safe summer experience!
The coming weeks are predicted to be hot and humid. That means there is a very real risk for heat exhaustion.
Remember to rest and seek relief from the sun in air-conditioned spaces. When air-conditioning isn’t available, choose or create rest areas in complete shade that are opened to cooling breezes and can fit everyone.
Encourage those you care for to wear sunscreen, hats and light-colored clothing. Sunburn reduces the skin's ability to release excess heat, making the body more susceptible to heat-related illness.
Heat exhaustion – Cool, moist skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, light headedness, weakness, thirst, irritability, and fast heart beat
Heat stroke - Red, hot, dry skin or excessive sweating, high body temperature, confusion, seizures and fainting
Heat cramps – Muscle spasms and pain (usually in stomach, arms, or legs)
Heat rash – Clusters of red bumps on skin that often appear on the neck, upper chest, and in the folds of skin.
Those showing signs of heat-related illness need immediate attention. Treating milder symptoms (headache, weakness) early by providing rest in a shaded area and cool water to drink can prevent a more serious medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you see someone lose consciousness.
Set up a buddy system to look out for the signs in each other. Often, someone will not recognize his or her own symptoms.
Be mindful! Know the signs and act quickly. Check out page 27-28 of OSHAs Heat Index guide to learn the symptoms and first aid to prevent heat-related illness.