Stay Cool: Tips to Help You Avoid Heat Related Illnesses

Jul 2013

It’s that time of year – the sun is out, and many of us are spending as much time outdoors as we can, soaking up the rays. But it’s always important to remember that exposing yourself to these conditions for too long can pose a serious risk and be hazardous to your health.

It’s vital to know how to keep cool in these conditions and reduce the likelihood of heat-induced illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Those most susceptible to these conditions are children and elderly people, so if you’re out with family on a particularly hot day, you should be keeping your eye on the people with you as well.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool in a heat wave:

Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you know it’s going to be hot outside, keep your layers to a minimum. Leave your big bulky jumpers and jackets at home – if you’re concerned about rain, take a light anorak or poncho with you in a small bag. Let air get to your arms and legs – wear shorts and a short sleeve top. And remember that direct sun rays can be harmful to your skin, so wear a hat and apply sun screen to any exposed parts of the body.

Know Your Peak Times

The weather is usually at its hottest between the hours of 11am and 3pm, but check your local hourly forecast to be sure. If you can, try to avoid going out during the hottest parts of the day, and save any excursions for later on in the evening.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids and, where possible, eat cold foods with a high water content, such as fruits and salads. Remember to take cool showers at home, and if you’re out and about, always carry a bottle of water with you. Also, if you’re outdoors, keep your temperature down by sprinkling water on your skin, or applying a damp cloth to your head and neck.

Take It Easy

When it’s already hot, physical exertion can push your body’s temperature up into the danger zone, so try to avoid partaking in extreme exercise, or any other strenuous activities.

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