With no school for the kids and gorgeous weather it’s hard not to spend your summer out and about having fun or working outside. There are a ton of great summer activities to do and it’s also the perfect time to get around to some of that work on the house you’ve been putting off. The only drawback of summertime is the heat. If you’re not careful too much time in the sun can be dangerous so it’s important to be wary of heatstroke and stay hydrated. Here we’ll look at a few precautionary steps you can take to make sure that your summer fun isn’t ruined by the sun.
One of the most serious conditions prevalent during the summer time is heat stroke so it’s very important to be able to recognize the symptoms and act accordingly should you need to help someone with heatstroke. The basic symptoms are: throbbing headache, dizziness / light-headedness, lack of sweating (despite the hot weather), hot red and dry skin, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea, rapid heartbeat and breathing, confusion, seizures, and finally unconsciousness. While these may seem serious they will typically increment out slowly starting with the more mild symptoms. If you can catch on early you can likely amend your activities to avoid the further progress of heatstroke.
If you recognize heatstroke in someone else or yourself it’s important to call 911 and try and get the core body temperature down as much as possible. There are a few good techniques to do so. Firstly, move to the shade if possible and remove any unnecessary clothing. One option is to dampen the body with a sponge or cloth and run a fan over it. Another way to go about it is immerse the person in a tub of cool water or an ice bath. Lastly you can apply ice packs to the patient’s neck, groin, armpits, or back to help lower the core body temperature.
Not drinking enough water is another serious summer malady that needs to be taken care of before it becomes a dangerous situation. Again, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms and react accordingly. Of course preparation is always going to be the best way to prevent dehydration by drinking a lot of water and planning ahead and packing water if you won’t readily have access to it. The basic symptoms of dehydration include: increased thirst, dry mouth and swollen tongue, weakness, dizziness, heart palpitations, confusion, sluggishness, fainting, inability to sweat, and decreased urine output. If you recognize any of these symptoms the best course of action is to sip small amounts of water to begin with and if possible drink something with carbohydrates / electrolytes (commonly found in sports drinks). Again, if the person has additionally had a lot of sun exposure it’s important to cool them down with some of the same steps used for heat stroke.