Summer is on it's way and it looks like it's going to be a hot one. In many places, the mercury is already in the upper 80's and 90's every day and the summer months aren't even here yet. Are you ready for a hot summer? Do you know how to protect yourself from the effects of the summer heat?
Heat related deaths are on the rise because many people will not take heat advisories seriously. But prolonged exposure to high temperatures without the proper precautions can kill you. It is important that you learn the warning signs of heat exhaustion and what to do if you or someone you know suffers from these symptoms.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion in no particular order are, excessive sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, and fainting. The skin will feel cool and moist to the touch. The pulse may be faint and fast. The victim's breathing will be rapid and shallow. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke and sometime death.
What do you do when someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion? The goal is to get the victim cooled off. Move them to a cool or air conditioned environment. Give them water or other cool non-alcoholic beverages. Sponge them down with cool water or place them in a cool bath or shower.
If the symptoms do not improve with these measures, get medical attention immediately.
The summer heat is not to be taken lightly. Try to schedule your outdoor activities in the mornings or early evenings when it may be cooler. If you must be outside in the heat of the day, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink because your body is already on it's way to dehydration at the point that you start to feel thirst. Remember to wear light-weight and light colored clothing. Take frequent breaks in a cool area.
Heat exhaustion can be very serious and life threatening if left untreated. People that have high blood pressure, the elderly and those working outside are most prone to heat exhaustion. Check on the elderly often and provide them with fans if they don't have any.
Summer is the best season of the year, but it must be treated with respect. Do everything you can to protect yourself from heat exhaustion this summer. Your life may depend on it.
Lucinda is a registered nurse and a freelance writer. To learn more about ways to protect yourself from the heat this summer check out her blog at http://www.myneckcoolers.blogspot.com