Did you know that in the last ten years, extreme heat has killed more people than any other weather condition? As summer approaches and temperatures rise, it is important to be informed about the dangers of heat. Texas summers are hot, and temperatures can reach dangerous levels. Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration and exhaustion can rapidly progress and affect anyone at any age. Below are four tips you can use to beat the heat the summer and remember to contact your doctor if you are suffering from heat exhaustion.
1. Drink water and rest.
Even at 80 degrees, heat can cause problems for us and our bodies. When we are out in the sun for prolonged periods of time, our bodies begin to use water at a much faster rate than usual. To avoid dehydration and exhaustion, make sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks away from direct sunlight.
2. Recognize signs of heat illness.
Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated? It is important to recognize the signs of heat illness, so you know what to do to in case you or someone you know start to show symptoms.
Signs of heat illness are:
• Heavy sweating
• Hangover-like headaches
• Muscle weakness
If any of these signs are present, immediately find a cool area, drink water, and call 911 if needed.
3. Identify high-risk situations.
Every year, we hear stories of children and pets being left in a car and suffering from fatal heat illness. During extreme heat, the temperature inside a vehicle can increase from 80 degrees to 99 degrees as quickly as 10 minutes. Children and pets left in extreme heat can quickly lose consciousness and overheat. Children or pets should never be left in the car. If you see a child or pet locked inside a vehicle, call for help and get them out of the vehicle immediately. Other high-risk situations to look out for are doing physical activity in the sun for extended periods of time, drinking alcohol outside, and being in high elevations during hot days.
4. Be prepared.
The best way to fight the heat is to prepare for it. Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day which is usually around 3 p.m. Make sure to carry water wherever you go. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the UVA and UVB rays to prevent sunburn. Wear lightweight clothing with breathable fabrics such as linen or cotton. Eat foods that have water and nutrients in them like fruits and veggies while staying away from salty foods like chips that can cause dehydration.
Knowledge is power when it comes to beating the summer heat. Make sure to drink water and recognize the signs of heat illness to prevent it. Identify and be prepared for high-risk situations. If you feel like you are suffering from a heat illness, please visit any of our Gonzaba Urgent Care Center. For more tips on staying healthy this summer, make an appointment with Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio at (210) 921-3800 or visit our website today!