Common Summer Ailments and Prevention Tips
The summer is a time for fun in the sun, but if you are not careful, the sun can be dangerous. Exposure to the sun can lead to sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke when caution is not properly applied. You can soak up the sun's rays without worrying, but you need to be prepared. To prevent becoming heat sick or getting sunburned this summer, take heed of the following advice.
Heat exhaustion occurs when you have been exposed to high temperatures along with high humidity and sometimes physical activity. When left untreated heat exhaustion can lead to a more serious, possibly life-threatening condition called heatstroke. There are a number of symptoms that may indicate you have developed heat exhaustion including profuse sweating, faintness, weak or rapid pulse, low blood pressure, headache, nausea, low-grade fever, and dark urine.
Heatstroke is a life threatening condition that occurs when your temperature rises to 104° F or higher. A number of different conditions can cause heatstroke, including high indoor/outdoor temperatures, physical activity, or a combination of these factors. Regardless of the cause, to prevent organ failure, brain damage, or death, you need to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have developed heatstroke. The symptoms of heatstroke may include high body temperature, lack of sweat, hyperventilation, rapid pulse, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, hallucination, speech problems, muscle cramps, and weakness.
Prevention of Heat-Related Illness
If you do not want to get heat sick, you need to take the proper precautions when you are out in hot weather. First and foremost, wear loose, lightweight clothing so that your body can breathe. Seek shade or air conditioning when necessary. Drink plenty of fluids. It is best to stick with fluids that hydrate like water or a sports drink. Pay attention to warning labels on your prescription bottles regarding sun exposure. Additionally, take frequent breaks when you are physically active in the heat and do not sit in a parked car for more than a few minutes.
Sunburn is a literal pain: red skin that is painful and hot to the touch. Typically, signs of sunburn appear within a few hours of prolonged sun exposure. However, sunburn can take days, sometimes weeks to subside. It is important to prevent sunburn because it can lead to more serious complications such as skin cancer. Symptoms of sunburn may include red or pink skin, skin that is warm or hot to the touch, pain, headache, tenderness, swelling, blistering, fever, and fatigue.
It is easy to prevent sunburn. First and foremost, cover yourself up. Wear clothes that cover your body and a hat on your head. When your skin is exposed, wear sunscreen and reapply every two hours whether you go in water or not. Additionally, wear sunscreen on your face everyday. Finally, avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. whenever it is possible.
Want More Information?