In these last few weeks of summer we often experience the hottest temperatures. Additionally many of us schedule our vacations and outdoor events during this time in anticipation of dry, sunny weather. As a result heat stoke can become more prevalent during the latter weeks of summer.
Age, health conditions and certain medications can also make you more vulnerable. Infants and children up to age 4, and adults over age 65, are particularly vulnerable because they adjust to heat more slowly than other people. Also people with diabetes, obesity and hypertension are more at risk while medications like antihistamines, diet pills, diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants, seizure medications (anticonvulsants), heart and blood pressure medications and antidepressants are associated with increased risk of heat stroke.
To reduce your chance of heat stroke:
· Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat.
· Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
· Drink extra fluids. To prevent dehydration, it's generally recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice per day. Because heat-related illness also can result from salt depletion, it may be advisable to substitute an electrolyte-rich sports drink for water during periods of extreme heat and humidity.
· Take additional precautions when exercising or working outdoors. The general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, and consider adding another 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise. During exercise, you should consume another 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty.
· Reschedule or cancel outdoor activity. If possible, shift your time outdoors to the coolest times of the day, either early morning or after sunset.
For more information on health and wellness call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way at 2539270660