Summer is officially here, and so is the inevitable heat that comes with it! Being outdoors is one of the simple joys of summertime, but it can sometimes be dangerous. Whether you’re working out or relaxing at the park, it’s important to know how to keep you and your family safe from the hazards of high temperatures.
When your body is exposed to high heat, especially when coupled with humidity, your core body temperature can rise. In an effort to cool itself, your body will send more blood to circulate throughout your skin, leaving less blood for your muscles. These factors can increase your heart rate, putting more stress on your body. Perspiration can also fail as a cooling mechanism when exposed to high heat for too long.
Some of the ailments you run the risk of developing when your core body temperature rises are:
• Heat exhaustion
• Heat cramps
• Heat syncope (fainting)
The symptoms of these heat-related illnesses vary from nausea and headaches to fatigue and shortness of breath. If you aren’t feeling well, seek medical attention.
There are ways to safeguard you and your family from the potentially harmful effects of heat overexposure.
• Avoid physical activity outside during the hottest part of the day (10AM – 4PM).
• Drink plenty of water before you go outside, and keep hydrating in the sun.
• Take frequent breaks from activity and find shade.
• If you must be in the sun for long stretches of time, be sure to stretch your leg muscles often. This will prevent blood from pooling in your legs, potentially leading to fainting.
These are just some of the ways you can protect yourself in the heat. Always make sure you exercise common sense. If you’re hot, take a break!
If you would like to learn more about staying safe in the summer heat, read more on how to pick the right SPF sunscreen for your skin!
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