How To Remain Well in the Heat – Summer Heat Health Risks 3/3

In two previous posts we’ve talked about the health risks in Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke. Obviously the best thing to do is to avoid becoming unwell through heat in the first place, and below can be found some general tips to help.

Even with the best intentions, sometimes the heat can get the better of us. Here is a few tips on Remaining Well in the Heat in our third post of this 3-post Summer-Heat-series:

  • Don’t be extremely active outside in the heat of the day. While exercise is very important, it should be remembered that people can (and do) die from exercising in excessive heat.
  • Drink plenty of water- aim for urine that is pale yellow in colour rather than an arbitrary amount. The amount you need depends on so many factors that it is difficult to give a prescribed recommendation for all
  • Wear sun hats and loose, light coloured clothing
  • Do not spend prolonged amounts of time in hot (and especially exposed environments)
  • Minimise alcohol intake- this promotes water loss through urine.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of plain water (for example if you are exercising) can be very dangerous. Replace salt that you lose from sweat. While drinking water is important, if you are needing to drink many litres of water you should consider using some kind of fluid replacement / rehydration aid to boost salt levels.
  • Take cool baths and showers in hot weather

Remember that children less than 5 and the elderly have impaired ability to regulate their core body temperature and are at higher risk of heat exhaustion and/ or dehydration. Likewise, the elderly often have a blunted thirst reflex, so offer drinks regularly.

One last thing to consider is whether a person can reach a drink. Some people may be confined to bed or dependent on others for care. If you know somebody in this situation, make sure they can at least get to some water. You should not wait until you feel thirsty to drink- by this time you are already dehydrated!

Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Find out more about the signs of Dehydration in our previous post as well as some medical information about Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion in post 2 of our 3-part series on Summer Heat Health Risks.

And don’t forget to enjoy the outdoors with moderation – thanks to the beautiful sun and heat..!