The summer months can be extremely hot and humid. Keep your body protected from the sun and warm temperatures to prevent a heat related illness. Start each day with a glass of water and continue to drink fluids throughout the day. It is important to keep your body hydrated on the hot summer days, especially while being outdoors. You cannot replenish fluids at the same rate you deplete them. When you sweat, the body is losing liquids. For your body to function normally, liquids need to be replaced by drinking water or other fluids. If your body does not receive the liquid it needs, dehydration occurs. This can cause you to feel thirsty, tired, or have a dry mouth, headache, and dry skin.
When exercising outdoors, it is best to have water before, during and after your workout. Maintaining optimal fluid intake prior to and during exercise is crucial for both performance and health. It will postpone fatigue and promote peak performance. If adults are dehydrated, increase your liquid intake with water or a sports drink with electrolytes. For children, it is best to give a rehydration solution such as Pedialyte. It is best to call a doctor or pediatrician for your child, parent or grandparent is suffering from a heat related illness.
Remember your sunscreen to cover up to prevent a heat related illness
It is very important to apply sunscreen throughout the day. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Administer sunscreen on the exposed skin if you plan to be outside. Apply it 30 minutes before going into the water so it can adhere to your skin and not rinse off. Reapply after coming out of the water as well. Protect yourself on cloudy or overcast days too. Although the clouds mask the visible light, they do not block all of the harmful UV rays. It is still possible to get tan and sunburned.
Heatstroke happens when someone is exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time during physical activity. It could be from playing a sport or some other high intensity activity in the sun. Basically, the body is overheating and needs to be cooled down. Some symptoms include dizziness, nausea, confusion, feeling hot but not sweating, having a temperature over 103, rapid breathing and skin redness. Anyone suffering from heatstroke needs to be treated immediately by calling 911.
Click on the image above to download and print our heat related illness and first aid measures sheet.
If you have any questions regarding heat related illness, call LaGrange Medical Center and Urgent Care at 708-352-0330. We are located at 6170 Joliet Road in Countryside, Illinois. We’re minutes away from Interstates 55 and 294, just off Joliet Road and LaGrange (Route 45).