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Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

My wife and I were camping last year around this time. On our first morning, we decided to go for a “short” walk to acclimate to the wilderness. It was a beautiful morning. The weather was perfect. We saw three cute pheasant families. Life was great. Our short walk got longer and longer and longer. By the time we turned around, it had gotten hot and we were a long way from camp.

The walk back wasn’t easy in the heat with no water. We had to make frequent stops in the shade to cool down. At one point, my wife couldn’t go any farther. She was too hot and was feeling nauseous.

We eventually made it back to camp safely, but it could have been much worse. My wife’s body was heating up faster than she was able to cool down. Later I realize she was suffering early signs of heat illness.

Heat illness, which includes heat exhaustion, cramps and heat stroke, kills people every year. Earlier this year in California, a 17-year-old girl died from heat stroke just two days after beginning work on a farm.

Recognize the signs of heat illness
Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Extreme weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Giddiness.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Clammy and moist skin.
  • Profuse sweating with normal to slightly elevated body temperatures.

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Mental confusion.
  • Delirium.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Convulsions.
  • Coma.
  • A complete lack of sweating.
  • Hot and dry skin with increasing body temperature.

Protect yourself from the heat
If you are going to work or play outdoors this summer:

  • Acclimatize yourself to the heat–try to ease into outdoor activities over several days.
  • Start early and finish early–take advantage of the coolest hours of the day.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water–at least a quart of water per hour even if you are not thirsty.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade.
  • Stop what you are doing and go to a cool, shaded area if you don’t feel well.

Call for help
Call for help if you think you or someone else is suffering from heat illness.

Read more: Health, Safe Sweet Home

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.

12 comments

+ add your own
12:32AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

12:26AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Good article. Thanks.

2:06PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

thanks

7:34PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Thank you!

9:35PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Hey, I do all of that. AND I carry lots of water with me.

The heat doesn't bother me.

12:45AM PDT on May 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:58PM PDT on May 21, 2011

thanks

11:12PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

Clothing should be cotton and not synthetic. A hat helps so much. And when you have long hair you can put it up onto of your head with an ice cube and a hair clip. Really cools you down fast.

8:17PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

thanks for info

11:42AM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

What happened to my comment?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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