Spending time with nature can be one of the most healthiest activities for the mind, body, and soul. In fact, we are nature and while we experience nature we need to ensure that we take precautionary measures to prevent heat-related injuries when we’re in hot climates. There are a lot of beautiful places to visit and sometimes when you’re having fun you may not realize that your body is overheating. Being cautious and cool when you’re in a hot climate is crucial in preventing heatstroke.
Heatstroke generally occurs when the body reaches a temperature of 104 degrees or higher. At this point symptoms can include rapid breathing, racing heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, altered speech, and confusion. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in high temperatures lead to heatstroke.
When a person gets heatstroke immediate medical attention is required so here are some tips for preventing heatstroke.
1. Stay Cool
One of the most important tips for preventing heatstroke is to stay cool and there are a number of things you can do to keep cool.
- Limiting outdoor activities to when it is coolest such as mornings or evenings is best. Resting in shady regions when you’re hot can be great to give your body time to cool down.
- Staying cool inside where it is air-conditioned is one of the most affective ways to prevent heatstroke. If your house doesn’t have an air conditioner you can visit public areas such as libraries or shopping centers. Spending a few hours in an air conditioned room can help your body stay cooler when you go back outside into the heat.
- Taking a cool shower or bath can bring down the core body temperature pretty fast as well so if you feel overheated a nice cool dip in the tub can certainly do the trick.
- Wearing appropriate clothing when you’re outside in the heat can make a big difference. Make sure you put on lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Believe it or not, the type of food you eat can have an impact on overheating as well. Hot and heavy meals can add heat to your body so watch what you eat before going out in the heat.
- Slowing down and pacing yourself can prevent overheating so avoid exercising during the heat. Don’t over exert yourself if its hot. If you ever feel lightheaded, weak, confused, or like you’re going to faint then find a cool area or a shaded region to rest.
- Keep in mind that sunburns can affect the body’s ability to cool down and it can make you dehydrated. Wearing sunscreen outdoors can protect yourself from the sun. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses can help as well.
- Always remember to never leave children or pets in vehicles when it is hot outside. Even with the windows cracked vehicles can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures.
Always make sure you hydrate well when you’re outside in the heat. Regardless of how active you are drink more fluids and never wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Keep away from sugary or alcoholic drinks because they actually make you lose more body fluid. Cold drinks can cause stomach cramps so avoid them as well. If you’re outside sweating a lot you can lose salts and minerals from your body so a sports drink can be great to replenish those salts and minerals. Keep in mind that you should always provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.
3. Stay Informed
A good way to stay informed is by checking in with the local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips. You may even be able to find out where cooling shelters are located near you. You should be well aware of the signs and symptoms of heatstrokes or any other heat-related illnesses so make sure you do a little research. Certain people can have a higher risk for heatstroke so make sure you monitor them.
If heatstroke does occur it will require emergency treatment. If a heatstroke is left untreated it can quickly damage your heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles. The longer the treatment is delayed it increases your risk of serious complications or death. Seek medical treatment immediately if you think you or anyone else is experiencing heatstroke symptoms.