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Tips for Staying Safe During a Heat Wave

By Stepy Kamei

When the sun comes out, it seems like the whole world is ready to lighten up and have some fun. The arrival of summer often coincides with the arrival of all kinds of engaging outdoor activities, from sunbathing to swimming to hiking all over. It helps to know that scientific studies have shown that spending time outdoors under the bright sun can bring about all kinds of significant health benefits. These benefits include improved mood, better sleep, and increased Vitamin D absorption. However, it's no secret that when the sun comes out, temperatures rise. It's important to keep in mind that hot weather can have a negative impact on a person's well-being, often in the form of acute symptoms. So, be sure to keep on reading so you can learn how to spot the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as ways you can prevent these conditions from ever occurring in the first place.

Staying Cool in the Dog Days of Summer

It's not inherently a bad thing to spend time outside, especially when the days are long and the weather is warm. Still, it's important to make sure you're staying cool and avoiding the most significant risk factors when it comes to developing conditions such as heat stroke. First, try your best to avoid being in direct sunlight between the hours of noon and 2 p.m., as this is when the sun is highest in the sky, and therefore is hottest as well. Furthermore, be sure to always have a refillable bottle of water on you at all times, as dehydration can occur quickly as you sweat in the summer sun. Furthermore, contrary to what you may want to do, it can be more helpful to wear loose-fitting long clothing, including blouses with long sleeves and baggy yet light pants that cover the whole leg. This will actually help to keep your skin protected and covered from the sun's harsh rays.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

During the hot summer months, heat stroke is one of the most common causes of medical emergencies. It's best to be prepared and know what to look for so you can see it and treat it right away, before the effects become too damaging.

For starters, people who may be experiencing heat stroke may complain of feelings of lightheadedness and nausea. Excessive sweating and very rapid and shallow breathing are also pretty common symptoms seen in people who are experiencing heat stroke. Also, a high heart rate (especially while the person is resting and isn't moving much) in combination with these other symptoms is another classic sign of heat stroke.

If you see these symptoms, be sure to do the following things immediately:

  • Get the person out of the sun and into shade
  • Have them drink water
  • Call 911
  • If possible, press ice cubes to their wrists to cool them down faster

The sun can provide the means to a lot of fun, but there are definite dangers if you don't respect it.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Morrisville, N.C.

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