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Summer Winds Down but the Temperatures Do Not. Beat the Heat with These Tips!

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Across the country we are continuing to observe record high temperatures and experts predict we won’t be seeing relief any time soon. August is commonly the time for some of the hottest days of the year. Because of this, we want to take a moment to refresh everyone on heat related illness and to remind everyone that it is preventable.

Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.

Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures, particularly when combined with high humidity, and strenuous physical activity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition.

We are all experiencing unpresented heat this summer. Whether the kids are going back to school in the coming weeks, you are squeezing in one last vacation, practicing with your favorite football team, or simply heading outside during the late summer months, Air Methods wants to keep your health and safety at the forefront.

Stay cool

There are many things you can do to keep heat-related illnesses at bay. Consider:

  • Choosing lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing
  • Being mindful of scheduling outdoor events
  • Pacing yourself while outdoors
  • Trying not to eat hot, heavy foods
  • Protecting yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection.”

Stay hydrated

Regardless of your age, drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heat-related illness. An average person needs to drink about three-quarters of a gallon of fluid daily. Consider:

  • Avoiding sugary and alcoholic drinks as they can actually contribute to fluid lose
  • Drinking sports drinks and other electrolyte replacements that restore salt and minerals lost in sweat
  • Providing plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area

Stay plugged in

Check with the local news for weather updates and tips to stay cool. Don’t forget to check in on infants, children, older adults, individuals with disabilities and pets as well. When assessing your loved ones, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Are they drinking enough water? 
    • Do they have access to air conditioning? 
    • Do they know how to keep cool? 
    • Do they show any signs of heat stress? 

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, seek emergency medical care immediately. EMS providers are specially trained to help someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, when in doubt, ask for help.

We hope everyone makes the best of their final days of summer but doing so safely. Heat-related illness doesn’t discriminate and can be deadly if untreated. So remember these tips during these hot, dogdays of summer, so you and your loved ones can stay cool.