Safety During the Dog Days of Summer

Thursday July 23, 2020

It’s hot out there!!   HEAT + PANDEMIC = ANXIETY and RISK

Heatstroke occurs when a person’s body overheats as a result of exposure to hot weather. It’s a serious condition that can damage the brain and other vital organs — making heatstroke an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

How to prevent:

  1. Avoid becoming dehydrated

Staying properly hydrated can help your body regulate its temperature.

If you need to be outdoors, plan to leave your house already well-hydrated. This doesn’t mean just chugging a bunch of water before going outside: it means staying hydrated throughout the day. You’ll also need to plan ways to maintain your hydration while in the heat by carrying water with you.  Check out Britt’s recipe for an excellent DIY hydration beverage!

  1. Dress for the heat. Loose-fitting, light-colored fabrics are best.
  2. Seek air conditioning or shade as often as possible. While we’re all eager to head outdoors as a safe way to get out of the house during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s probably best to limit the time you spend outdoors during a heat advisory.
  3. Exercise indoors or early in the morning. When a heat advisory and pandemic overlap, the safest place to exercise indoors is in your home.

Strenuous activity can make it even easier to overheat on a hot day, so you may want to consider swapping your outdoor workouts for indoor ones.

If you can’t exercise at home, set your alarm, and plan for an early morning outdoor workout. While you may be tempted into thinking that an evening run may be safe, know that the evenings often don’t cool down as much as you’d expect during a heatwave.

  1. Know that a parked car can be deadly

Cars are like ovens. It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature of a car parked in the sun to increase by 20 degrees. Try to avoid being in a hot car, and never leave children or animals in a parked car.

  1. Protect yourself from sunburn. Sunburn can limit your body’s ability to cool you down. Who knew? Don’t forget the sunscreen (And remember, sunscreen wears off, so you’ll need to reapply your sunscreen regularly.)
  2. Skip outdoor day-drinking

Pool or beach drinking can impair your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.

During a heat advisory, it’s best to limit the amount of alcohol you drink while in the heat.

Call 911 immediately if you notice signs of heat stroke

The most common symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • A body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Sudden confusion or hallucinations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Fainting

 

Also, people suffering from heatstroke may also experience racing heart rate, rapid breathing, overly warm skin or skin redness, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle cramps and weakness, and throbbing headaches.

If you or someone you love is showing signs of heatstroke, call 911 immediately.

While you may be concerned about visiting the emergency room during COVID-19, rest assured that emergency rooms are safe — taking every precaution to protect your health during this pandemic.

 

Adapted from: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html