Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses
Posted on June 7, 2019 at 10:50 AM by Blog Committee
Now that warm weather is finally here, it’s a great time to talk about heat-related illnesses and what you can do to prevent them.
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke happens when the body can’t properly cool down. This is usually done by sweating, but during extreme heat, this may not be enough to cool the body down. If your body is unable to cool down, damage to your brain and other vital organs can occur. High levels of humidity, obesity, fever, dehydration, prescription drug use, heart disease, poor circulation, and sunburn can all increase your risk of developing a heat-related illness.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses:
Wear as little clothing as possible. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when you know you will be exposed to heat. Wear sunscreen and reapply as needed if you’re going to be outside. Having a sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and can cause a loss of fluids. In warmer temperatures where you can potentially have a heat-related illness, keep cool and use common sense. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids (don’t wait until you’re thirsty), replace salts and minerals as you sweat them out, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen, stay cool. Adjust to the environment and be aware of where you are and the weather there!
Stay safe and cool this summer!
Resource: CDC. (2017). Extreme Heat. From: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/
Written by Elizabeth Pamperin, CHES | Wellness Program Consultant