Summer Heat Safety Tips

 

According to Dr. James H. Shropshire, Family Medicine physician at the Meriter Fitchburg clinic, summer heat waves can be dangerous. Here are some heat safety tips he gives his patients to fight the heat:

• Drink plenty of fluids – During hot weather, you will need to drink more liquid than your thirst indicates, and you will need to increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level.
• Wear appropriate clothing – It’s best to choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
• Wear sunscreen – A sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself off and it can damage your skin. Apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to reduce the risk of sunburn.
• If possible, stay cool indoors – The easiest way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner or evaporative cooling unit, consider going to a shopping mall or public library for a few hours. A cool shower or bath is also a good way to cool off.
• Fans are not a solution- Fans help one feel cool by increasing evaporation on the skin. They however don’t cool the air, they only circulate it.  This can actually increase water loss, and the electric motor of a fan creates its own heat.
• Avoid outdoor activities – Eliminate strenuous activity such as running, biking and lawn care work when it heats up. Try to rescheduled activities during the coolest times of the day – morning and evening.
• Don’t be alone- When working in the heat, have someone else with you to monitor your health condition and then you’ll be able to do the same for them.
• Monitor those at high risk – Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include:
• infants and children up to four years of age
• people who overexert during work or exercise
• people 65 years of age or older
• people who are ill or on certain medications
• people who are overweight

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