7 ways to stay cool in the heat - KMSP-TV

7 ways to stay cool in the heat

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Monday will be our first dangerously hot day of the season. Who knows how many more we will have this summer, but it doesn’t make it any less concerning when headed out and about with the heat index topping 100°. Simply sitting outside for too long with temperatures like these can cause drastic problems like heat exhaustion or heat stroke and you can find yourself in big trouble in no time at all. So it’s a good idea to remember to SLOW DOWN on days like today. Move that run inside to a treadmill. Bring a couple bottles of water with you as you run errands. Wear shorts to work and bring your suit with you instead of wearing it to the office. Just the simple things that can help keep you cool longer and prevent serious problems from occurring. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of heat related stress, and some more tips on how to stay cool:

 

Safety Tips

Slow down

   - Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.

Dress for summer

   - Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.

Put less fuel on your inner fires

   - Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.

Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids

   - Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.

During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places

   - Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.

Don't get too much sun

   - Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.

Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician

    During extremely hot and humid weather the body's ability to cool itself is affected. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and heat-related illnesses may develop.

    Heat-related illnesses can range from heat cramps to heat exhaustion to more serious heat stroke. Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attention.

    Factors or conditions that can make some people more susceptible to heat-related illnesses include age (older adults and young children), obesity, fever, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, prescription drug and alcohol use, and sunburn. Sunburn, caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, can significantly retard the skin's ability to shed excess heat.

Heat-Related Illness Symptoms and First Aid

HEAT CRAMPS

Symptoms:

    - Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen

    - Heavy sweating

First Aid:

    - Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm.

    - Give sips of water, if nausea occurs, discontinue water

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Symptoms:

    - Heavy sweating

    - Weakness

    - Cool, pale, clammy skin

    - Weak pulse

    - Possible muscle cramps

    - Dizziness

    - Nausea and vomiting

    - Fainting

    - Normal temperature possible

First Aid:

    - Move person to a cooler environment

    - Remove or loosen clothing

    - Apply cool, wet cloths

    - Fan or move victim to air conditioned room

    - Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke)

Symptoms:

    - Altered mental state

    -Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing

    - High body temperature (106°F or higher)

    - Skin may be hot and dry, or patient may be sweating

    - Rapid pulse

    - Possible unconsciousness

First Aid:

    - Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.

    - Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment

    - Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging

    - Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90's

    - Use extreme caution

    - If temperature rises again, repeat process

    - Do NOT give fluids

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