So far this summer, we have seen and experienced record high temperatures greater than 40 degrees centigrade.
The heat wave can result in illness and even death for the most vulnerable individuals which include the very young, elderly, and those with pre-existing illnesses. Exposure to excessive heat can affect several vital organs of the body resulting in heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include:
- Flushed skin
- Increased body temperatures
- Dizziness, vertigo (fainting spells)
- Palpitations, irregular heart beats
Despite the ominous warnings about global warming, health practitioners have a responsibility to advise the public on how to adapt and cope in the environment in which we live, work, and play especially when there are extreme environmental conditions.
There are a few critical actions we can take to keep cool while enjoying the summer months.
- Drink water and other liquids to cool down. Remember thirst is the first sign of dehydration. Always quench your thirst and drink water throughout the day.
- Fruits such as melons, oranges and other citrus fruits are good thirst quenchers. Blend and freeze fruits for the children. They will enjoy the refreshing delicious popsicle treats or smoothies.
- Eat lighter meals. Choose healthy salads and a sandwich as a good choice for lunch
- Wear lighter clothing. Cotton is a good choice. Loose fitting styles will allow for air circulation and you will feel cooler.
- Skip putting on tights and stockings for the summer. Dresses and shorts are quite popular this summer.
- Lighten up on the make-up and greasy oils and lotion.
The Indoor Environment
- Allow cross ventilation and the free flow of air
- Remove heavy drapes and replace with lighter window treatment
- Put away the warm bed linen.
- Limit the use of heat generating appliances
- Change out incandescent bulbs
- Spend time in air conditioned environments if you have that option
If you must be Outdoors
- Avoid being in the sun
- Wear a hat if you have to be outdoors for extended periods of time
- Schedule exercise and sporting activities before mid-morning and evening hours
- Keep a damp towel or wipes on hand to cool especially the face and neck areas
- Drink cool liquids and water throughout the day
- On extra warm days you may wish to choose going to the beach or swimming in the pool over other types of recreational activities.
It’s summertime to have fun and spend quality time with the kids on summer break. Keep cool and well hydrated while you create great experiences and memories this summer.
Hello_docja, Readers Bureau, Contributor
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