5 Ways to Prevent Heat Illness During a Heat Wave
High temperatures can lead to serious health problems, especially for people who are not adequately prepared for them. When the temperature rises above normal levels, heat illnesses are almost inevitable. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat-related deaths most frequently occur in the elderly and young children. They are typically the result of not having a plan to address the problem if you or a loved one becomes ill.
During a heatwave, individuals can be at risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. A heatwave happens when the temperature is at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22 degrees Celsius) for at least three consecutive days. Some people are more at risk than others, including those with chronic illnesses and limited access to air conditioning.
Heat illness causes the body to release large amounts of water and salts, which leads to dizziness, fainting, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, and nausea. Some heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, can be dangerous and lead to hospitalization.
For most of us, summer is the time when we take our first step into the sweltering heat. And while the temperature might not be as hot as it was in the past, the humidity can still leave us feeling out of breath. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of heat-related illnesses, especially during a heatwave, and especially if we want to keep working out.
Here are 5 easy ways to prevent heat-related illnesses this summer:
1. Dress appropriately for the weather
In the summer, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to rise into the 90s, leading to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, among other ills. To avoid this, many people wear loose, light-colored clothing and UV-protective and moisture-wicking clothing. Also, it’s important to be conscious of your own living environment and the weather in order to reduce your risk of health-threatening heat illness during a heatwave.
2. Keep yourself hydrated
Summers can be a hot time of year for all of us. They are beautiful, no doubt, but they can also be very hot and uncomfortable. One major cause of heat illness is dehydration. Dehydration can make you feel warmer than you actually are, make you more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and even cause heatstroke. Heatstroke can be a serious condition, and it can affect anyone. It’s not fatal, but it can be a very real risk. To prevent it, you need to stay hydrated.
3. If you are at increased risks, be extra cautious.
The elderly and others with health problems and medication can be at greater risk of heat-related illnesses during heat waves. If you have any of these issues, you may want to protect yourself by taking steps to avoid heat-related illness. Even if you don’t have any medical or health conditions, you may want to educate yourself about how to recognize the signs of heat-related illness so you can act quickly if you or someone did get sick.
4. Avoid doing strenuous activities, especially outdoors
During a heatwave, it’s important to avoid strenuous outdoor activities, especially during the morning hours. If possible, take part in outdoor activities during the morning hours, or postpone it when outside temperatures are cooler or evening. The body expends a lot of energy in the heat, so you will probably feel much cooler in the evening if you are trying to stay cool.
5. Stay indoors and enjoy the AC.
If you live in a place that gets hot during the summer, you’ve probably heard that you should stay inside on hot days to keep your temperature from getting too high. While this can be good advice, it’s not the best advice to follow. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to keep your temperature cool during a heatwave is to stay indoors. That’s because the temperature outside is going to stay cooler than the temperature inside your house.
Whether you’re in the middle of a heatwave or just dreaming about it, you don’t want to risk getting heatstroke. If you’re wondering what you can do about it, you can find ways to prevent heat illness, including possible symptoms and how to prevent them. By managing how much time you spend in the sun and protecting yourself against the heat, you can prevent heat stroke and other heat illnesses from happening.