Heat Safety and Water Consumption tips
Published: June 23, 2021
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After covering boating safety in our latest blog, it is important to take precautions related to the heat. Our next summer safety topic is heat safety. During the summer months, especially in Texas, heat can be very intense. Remember to follow precautions to protect yourself and others. Each year approximately 175 Americans die from extreme heat. Everyone can be vulnerable to heat, but some more so than others. According to The Impacts Of Climate Change On Human Health In The United States: A Scientific Assessment, the following groups are particularly vulnerable to heat:
- Young children and infants are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, as their bodies are less able to adapt to heat than are adults.
- Older adults, particularly those with preexisting diseases, (i.e. congestive heart failure or diabetes) take certain medications, are living alone or with limited mobility who are exposed to extreme heat can experience multiple adverse effects.
- People with chronic medical conditions (i.e. cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, asthma) are more likely to have a serious health problem during a heat wave than healthy people.
- Pregnant women are also at higher risk. Extreme heat events such as heat waves have been associated with adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality, as well as congenital cataracts.
If you need to be outside in the heat make sure to:
- Limit your outdoor activity.
- Wear and reapply sunscreen.
- Pace your activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. (Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness)
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles! Heat can rise in a car, up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes!
Water consumption in the hot summer months is extremely important. Dehydration occurs when fluid are not replaced and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to function normally. Dehydration signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Dry mouth
- Less frequent urination
- Dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
It is fun to take part in activities outside, but make sure you follow precautions before doing so this summer. It only takes a few minutes to plan for your time outside in these hot summer months. If you want to learn more about heat safety this website is a great resource!