Heat-Related Illnesses

Summer is in full swing, and it’s here to stay. With temperatures rising and events being pushed outside due to social distancing guidelines, avoiding the excessive heat can be difficult. Typically, the human body is able to control its temperature through sweating, until it is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can escalate quickly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.

Hydration is key when temperatures start rising. There are many ways to stay hydrated and protect yourself from heat-related illnesses:

ALWAYS DRINK WATER. You sweat more when it’s hotter, so make sure to replace the fluids that your body loses. Always have a bottle of water on-hand, and if you’re one that gets tired of plain water, try infusing it with natural flavors from fruits.

PACE YOURSELF. When working or exercising outside, limit yourself until your body adjusts to the temperature. To avoid illness, always listen to your body when it’s asking for rest. Try indoor exercises and take frequent breaks when working in the yard to go inside and rehydrate.

DITCH THE SODA. The unwanted sugar and calories do nothing for your hydration. Water is always the best option!

AVOID ALCOHOLIC DRINKS. We all know Southerners love to drink, but mixing that with the summer heat can be risky. Alcoholic drinks cause you to urinate more, which can lead to dehydration. Try to limit the number of alcoholic drinks you consume, and remember to always alternate your drinks with a bottle of water.

It’s also always helpful to know the difference between heat-related illnesses and when immediate action is required. Here is a helpful chart that explains what to look for and what to do in each scenario.

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