Avoid Heat Related Illness

Tips for avoiding heat related illness! Overheating yourself can lead to heat exhaustion and even to heat stroke, a dangerous condition that can be fatal.

Overheating yourself can lead to heat exhaustion and even to heat stroke, a dangerous condition that can be fatal. If you have to be out in the sun during the peak of summer, there are precautions you can take to keep yourself safe and healthy.

1. Drink lots of water. Sodas and alcohol actually act as diuretics and take water from your body instead of adding it. Only water (and certain fruit juices and teas) can hydrate your body. Try to drink at least 8-10 8 oz. glasses of water per day. Gatorade and other sports drinks can also help replenish sodium and potassium lost when your body sweats.

2. Stay in the shade. The temperature can be as much as 10 degrees cooler in the shade than in the hot sun.

3. Wear a hat and sunglasses. The glasses will protect your sensitive eyes from sunburn, while the hat will keep the hot of your head from burning as well. This is especially important if you're bald.

4. Eat spicy foods (such as Cajun and Mexican) which causes you to sweat naturally and helps you cool off.

5. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, such as white t-shirts and shorts. Dark colors absorb heat and can cause your body to heat up as a result.



6. Don't exercise or overexert yourself if you can help it, especially between 10AM and 2PM when the sun is at it's most dangerous. If you exercise, be sure to do it in a gym or other indoor facility.

7. Swimming lowers body temperature and helps with evaporative cooling. But don't swim without sun block, lest you risk sunburn.

8. Use your air conditioner and fans to keep cool indoors. Because there's no natural breeze, indoor heat can sometimes be 10-20 degrees hotter than outdoors. Use the air conditioner and fan to combat this and stay comfortable.

9. Don't overeat - the energy your body uses to metabolize food heats you up, which combined with the sun, can cause you to overheat.

10. If you work outside, take periodic breaks to drink water and cool off in front of a fan. You'll avoid becoming overheated and actually get more work done as a result.

If you follow these ten simple tips, you can stay cool and healthy during the hot summer months.

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