Summer has officially arrived, and many of us are looking forward to spending time in the sunshine enjoying sports, hiking our favorite trails or completing home improvement projects. But before you head out in the warm summer sun, you may want to review this recent Stanford Medicine Newsletter story on how to avoid heat stroke.
In the article, Stanford emergency medicine specialist Grant Lipman, MD, offers tips for staying safe in summer heat. Here are three I found particularly helpful:
- Humidity does matter. The more humid it is, the more difficult it is to sweat. Sweating—and having sweat evaporate by means of a fan (or natural breeze)—is one of the body’s most important means of cooling down its core temperature.
- Stay hydrated, but avoid liquids that are very cold. Drinks with alcohol and high amounts of sugar can backfire because they can trigger high loss of body fluid. Sports drinks can replace salt and minerals lost through sweating, but individuals on a low-salt diet should choose other options. Food should be cool and have limited spice.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. For instance, if you’re not sweating and your skin feels hot, or if you feel nauseous, are dizzy or have a headache, slow down and take steps to cool the body. Mental confusion is another sign that the body is experiencing too much heat.
Read the full article for more recommendations.