Know The Effects Of Heat-Related Illness To Stay Safe This Summer

Know the Effects of Heat-Related Illness to Stay Safe This Summer

If you plan on spending a lot of time outside this weekend, it's good to keep an eye out for heat-related illness. The New York Times describes what to watch out for.

Photo by Michael Le Roi

Prevention of heat-related illnesses is mostly about preparation. Drink a lot of water, eat salted foods, and if you're exercising in the heat, consider a sports drink diluted with water. If you are out working in your garden or playing in the sun, just practise a few simple things:

[W]ear light-coloured, breathable clothing; schedule heavy work for the coolest parts of the day; take frequent breaks in the shade or a cool area; drink water often; and avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or lots of sugar.

As for the effects, The Times notes that sports players might be especially prone to heat-related illness, but really this applies to anyone:

Any player who becomes confused, disoriented or unsteady should be removed immediately from practice to a cooler environment, fanned, rehydrated and doused with or immersed in cool water.

Remove the athlete's clothing or soak it with water, which conducts heat away from the body much more effectively than air.

If the player's core temperature (the most accurate measurement is rectal) rises to 104 degrees F [40 C] or higher, it's considered a medical emergency.

It seems simple enough, but when you're enjoying the sunshine it's easy to miss the signs sometimes.

Keeping Your Cool [The New York Times]


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