Showing posts with label heatstroke. Show all posts

The Dog Days of Summer

dog days of summer
No matter your age, if you don’t take certain precautions, the hot weather can be a miserable experience. A lot of what we know about protecting ourselves is common sense but some people live more dangerously than others.

The hottest and muggiest days of summer have been known to fall between early July and early September. During this time period, the reward comes from an opportunity to move a bit slower, dress in clothes that reveal some skin and go to the beach or have a holiday cookout. This and more can be the result of experiencing the sultry days of summer as long as you follow these simple rules first.

Beating The Heat

  • Always dress children in light-colored cotton clothing. Babies should wear cotton t-shirts instead of going to an outing shirtless. Cotton can absorb heat and keep babies cooler. Also try shirts made from 100 percent Bamboo to reap the benefits of staying cool without perspiration.
  • If babies get sunburn, never put medicated lotions on their bodies unless instructed by a physician first. Instead, be sure to buy baby lotions with the necessary sunscreen protection already in them.
  • Choose sunscreens that have a broad spectrum of protection. Dry skin is not the only cause of wrinkles. Intense sunshine exposure is one of the leading causing of skin damage and wrinkles. Your options for sun protection are SPF moisturizers, basic sunscreens or tinted moisturizers.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and stay away from sugar filled carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks have an alarming amount of sugar, overwhelming calories, harmful additives and can ruin your appetite for healthy foods that your body needs.
  • Senior citizens should try to stay in cool places during warm weather. Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, the risk of heatstroke among older people is much higher. If you do not have air conditioning, go somewhere that does. A movie theater, the mall, a friend or relatives or a community center for seniors are a few good places.
  • Try to do all chores in the morning or afternoon when it's cooler, instead of the peak hours between noon and 5 p.m. Never try to overexert yourself in warm weather. It slows you down and increases your chances of passing out. Arm yourself with water bottles and damp towels to keep cool even if you're just outdoors at a cookout.
  • If you have been out in the sun for an extended period of time and feel tired, weak and nauseated, drink plenty of liquids, soak in cool water and seek medical attention if symptoms are severe.

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Sunburn Can Lead to Sunstroke

Summer can be a killer. Every year people die from too much sun or heat. A simple sunburn can escalate into heatstroke in a matter of hours. Heatstroke can be fatal. Keep summer fun by avoiding too much sun.

Sunburn can turn deadly in less than 24 hours. Detecting and treating sunburn, sun poisoning, and heat cramps is important. However, recognizing heat exhaustion and heatstroke is critically important. Early detection and prompt intervention can save a life.

Sunburn is a First Degree Burn

Sunburn is a first-degree burn that causes redness, swelling, and pain. Fair-skinned people can burn in less than 15 minutes. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, premature aging, and darkening of age spots. Sunburn can cause cell damage that later leads to skin cancer.

Usually, sunburn is more of a pain than a true medical problem. When sunburn sizzles, no treatment seems fast enough or effective enough. However, moist and cool compresses, topical treatments, and NSAIDs such as Motrin® are still commonly recommended treatments.

Sun Poisoning is Not Quite as Serious as it Sounds

Sun poisoning is just another name for severe sunburn. While this is not quite as serious as it sounds, sun poisoning needs to be taken seriously. It can cause intense burning, blisters, fever, chills, dizziness, nausea, or rapid pulse. Avoid self-treatment when sunburn is severe. See a doctor to prevent complications such as dehydration and infection.

Heat Cramps Sound Harmless but They’re Not

Belly or muscle cramps can occur during strenuous activities in sweltering temperatures. Heat cramps sound harmless but they actually indicate a fluid and electrolyte imbalance. If the usual treatments of drinking juices, replacing electrolytes with sports drinks, cooling down, and rest don’t relieve the problem promptly – seek medical attention. Many people (especially athletes) ignore these symptoms… don’t. Left untreated, heat cramps escalate into a more serious problem – heat exhaustion.

Call 911 for Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can cause profuse sweating, rapid breathing, rapid pulse, weakness, or dizziness. If these symptoms occur, call 911 immediately. Left untreated, a person with heat exhaustion can deteriorate rapidly. While awaiting an ambulance, keep the person cool and offer them decaffeinated and non-alcoholic drinks. Heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke in a matter of minutes.

Heatstroke Can be Fatal

Every summer people die (unnecessarily) from heatstroke. People usually have the warning signs of heat cramps and heat exhaustion before reaching the deadly stage of heatstroke. So, getting help at the heat cramp and heat exhaustion stages can prevent a heatstroke. Remember, heatstroke can be fatal, so know the symptoms and act fast.

One distinguishing symptom of heatstroke is that the skin is usually dry. A person with heatstroke may become confused or faint. The pulse may be slow or fast. And the body temperature can go very high, very fast. Call 911 immediately! While waiting for the ambulance, have the person lie down in a cool place. Offer them a cool, decaffeinated, non- alcoholic drink. Heat stroke can cause brain damage, organ failure, coma, or death.

The UV Index Projects Dangerous UV Radiation Levels

The smartest thing to do is prevent sunburn in the first place. Learn to use the UV index. To find a rating, type NOAA into a search engine. Then type UV index. Look up any location.
The EPA and the NOAA devised an index to predict UV radiation levels. The danger ratings look like this:
  • One or less ..........Low
  • Three-five ..............Moderate
  • Six-seven ..............High
  • Eight-ten ...............Very High
  • 11+ ........................Extreme

Prevention is the Best Possible Protection

Here are five easy steps to preventing sunburn.
  1. Apply sunscreen SPF # 15-30 (or higher) to all exposed skin.
  2. Always apply it 15-30 minutes before going outside.
  3. Wear a wide brimmed hat.
  4. Cover up when necessary.
  5. Avoid too much sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Here's the sunburn protection tip that most people sunscreen at least every two hours.
Now go outside and have some fum in the sun!

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