Important Tips for Avoiding Heat Exhaustion

July 28th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Warm summer weather and prolonged sun exposure can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion, both of which are especially dangerous for older adults. Seniors should follow these tips for staying safe this summer.

Heat exhaustion can affect people of all ages, but older adults may be more susceptible to this issue. This can lead to a number of adverse health problems, and even cause heat stroke. For anyone planning on spending extended periods of time outdoors this summer, it is essential be aware of the causes and symptoms of heat exhaustion. To stay safe this summer, follow these important tips:

Look out for Symptoms
Even just spending a relaxing day at the beach or in the backyard can lead to heat exhaustion. The Mayo Clinic reported that exercising and other physically demanding activities can exacerbate the problem. Heat exhaustion may strike at once or develop slowly overtime, which makes being aware of signs and symptoms even more critical. 

A person suffering from heat exhaustion may develop goose bumps and have cool, moist skin. This may also include heavy sweating. Eventually, an individual may feel faint or dizzy, and overcome with fatigue.

The Mayo Clinic stated that eventually heat exhaustion can cause a weak but rapid pulse, and make a person feel light-headed when standing. Eventually muscle cramps, feelings of nausea and headache will also set in.

Take Necessary Action
Should a loved one show signs of heat exhaustion, it is critical to stop any physical activity. Find a cooler, shaded place to rest and take small sips of cold water or a sports drink. If symptoms do not subside after an hour, call a primary care physician or caregiver. If an individual's body temperature reaches 104 F, seek immediate medical care.

Follow These Prevention Tips
One of the best ways to minimize the possibility of heat exhaustion is to be proactive when spending time outdoors on a hot sunny day. It may also be worth postponing plans if the forecast calls for oppressive heat or high humidity.

According to Healthline, there are a number of ways to stay safe when out on a summer day. Start by wearing light-weight clothing that is loose fitting. Avoid darker colors that absorb sunlight. A hat with a wide-rim is helpful for keeping the sun away from your head, neck and ears, and sun glasses can also reduce sun exposure. If you are headed to the beach or the park, it may be worth bringing along an umbrella to provide helpful shade.

Staying hydrated is also essential for avoiding heat exhaustion. Dehydration can complicate the issue, while drinking plenty of water will keep your body strong. Soft drinks or beverages with caffeine or alcohol may feel refreshing, but these can actually further dehydration. Healthline reported that if your urine is dark yellow or you stop sweating, this can be a sign that your body needs more fluids.

If you are exercising or heading out for a summer adventure, plan to be most active during the morning or evening. When the sign is high overhead, UV exposure is greater and temperatures usually peak between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

If your plans are up in the air, it may also be worth considering activities that are indoors or otherwise involve water. For example, if you are looking after your grandchildren for the day, a trip to the aquarium or a favorite museum is a way to have a memorable afternoon while also avoiding the sun. It may also be fun to find activities involving water. Head to a neighborhood pool or lake, or load up on water balloons and squirt guns. Just be sure to keep an eye out for possible signs of heat exhaustion and to schedule plenty of breaks to rest and rehydrate.

Source: Sunrise Senior Living

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