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Preventing Heat Illnesses

Now that summer is here, what are the best methods for preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Question:

Now that summer is here, what are the best methods for preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Submitted by - Ryan, Sierra Vista, AZ

Answer:

All things considered, you have asked a pretty big question. I think, however, we can reduce the guidelines to seven important points:

1. Stay well hydrated. Urine output should be clear and relatively copious, an indication of adequate hydration. Water or sports drinks are best; avoid alcohol and heavily caffeinated beverages.  (It is practically impossible to drink too much water, but you can do it if you’re not snacking regularly.)

2. Munch on lightly salted snacks.

3. Wear baggy, loosely woven clothing that allows evaporation of sweat. Keep your head covered.

4. Keep yourself fit,
and allow time for acclimatization when you’re new to a hot environment. Start slowly and avoid the hottest times of day.

5. Beware of drugs that increase your risk of heat illness.

6. Rest often
in the shade.

7. Pace yourself every day. When internal heat starts to become a problem, almost everyone begins to feel it. That’s when you should stop, rest, drink, and wait until you feel okay again.

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