Beware of Heat Illness This Summer

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Summer is half over, but we can still get hurt from heat illnesses if we do not take caution. Everyone is different, and so are our body types and the ways our bodies function. There are three categorizes that heat illnesses are classified into which is: heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Age, pushing your body over its limit, lack of sleep, exposure to hot weather, health conditions, stimulants, drugs, are several factors that can cause you heat illnesses.

The average person’s body has the ability to cool itself. So as the climate around your body changes, so does the temperature of your body as it sweats and separates the body heat from the circulation of your skin. But when you are getting dehydrated, your body is sweating and you feel exhausted, nauseated, and suffer from headaches and muscle cramps. Thus you are not able to perform well in tasks. These are all signs of dehydration and there are many ways to prevent from getting dehydrated. (Carrying a water bottle is always handy and it’s a good way of keeping you refreshed all the day.)

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps occur when your body gets little amount or too much fluid which decreases the level of sodium (salt) in your body. Two common mistakes a person can make are that he can be lacking water and does not have enough fluids in his/her body to make up for the amount it lost. While others can have too much water, and not replace that water and balancing it out with a mix of sports drinks. The same way you can tell you are getting dehydrated is the same for getting heat cramps.

Heat Stroke

This is the most dangerous kind of heat illness because it happens when your body cannot cool off quickly enough. This occurs when your body couldn’t separate the heat and your body temperature increases. Your heart rate also increases rapidly while your blood pressure decreases. One way to treat your body after a heat stroke is to immerse your body in cold water.

Heat Exhaustion

This basically means being dehydrated, experiencing fatigue and lacking the capability to finish or perform tasks. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme thirst, muscle cramps, weakness, headaches, and you may lose blood pressure which can cause you to faint. You should be aware of the weather, especially if you’re an athlete and should use sunscreen/hats/visors to prevent the sun from hitting you directly. You should also drink lots of water, carry a water bottle around, eat healthy meals, wear light clothing, and take breaks during the training/activities.

Athletes or those on training should remember to follow a fluid schedule. Additionally, they should not wear layers of clothing, eat well proportioned meals every day, should not miss out on sleep. Rest should be taken between the activities, and they remain hydrated but stay away from beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine. The right amount of water and sports drinks mix during also be taken, which should be ½ for both beverages.

Summer is so short, and while we enjoy outdoor activities and keeping an active lifestyle we should always be aware about heat illnesses that could take the fun away, and are dangerous to our health.