Central Missouri has been experiencing record-breaking heat this week! Next week doesn’t look to bring much relief. Its important to know how to stay safe while still enjoying your favorite summer activities.
When temperatures rise above 90 degrees, the risk for heat-related illness rises as well. It is important to know the signs of heat-related illness and to recognize your own personal limits when heading outside. If symptoms are ignored, serious injury or even death can result. Some of these signs include: dizziness, nausea, pale or flushed skin, headaches, cramps, and intense sweating. With these symptoms, a person should be moved indoors and given plenty of water, as well as cool washcloths. If the person affected vomits or becomes unconscious, seek medical help immediately.
There are many methods of preventing heat-related illness, while still being able to enjoy summer. The following are some tips to help maximize summer fun:
- Drink plenty of water!
- Avoid dehydrating beverages such as alcohol and drinks containing lots of caffeine.
- Eat smaller meals, more often throughout the day.
- Dress in lightweight clothing that is light in color.
- Wear sunscreen- make it a habit when leaving the house each day.
- Plan around the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
- Make shelter available for breaks from the heat and sun
- Learn basic first aid & CPR, educate yourself on signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and know your personal limits.
In addition to watching out for the signs and symptoms you may experience, keep an eye on others too. Children, the elderly, and pregnant women are especially susceptible to heat-related illness and injury, and often cannot recognize their personal limits.
The key to enjoying the summer safely is just to be educated on the danger signs and be mindful of the preventions listed above. Experiencing the summer sun and outdoors has its benefits, too. UVB wavelengths from the sun initiate a chemical reaction in the body that produces vitamin D, which aids in bone health. Also, sunlight is said to have a reverse effect on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is what can cause people to feel “down” during the winter months. Similarly, getting outdoors typically causes people to be more physically active. So, definitely get out to enjoy the perks of summer, just be sure to grab plenty of water and sunscreen on your way out and attempt to enjoy the mornings and evenings when the heat isn’t so intense.
- Check out Columbia, Missouri’s upcoming local forecast, heat indexes, and additional heat safety at the Weather Channel online!
- Keep your pets safe also with these helpful tips in the Columbia Missourian.