Beat the Heat with These Summer Safety Tips

Beat the Heat with These Summer Safety Tips

Temperatures are already rising here in the Shreveport area, which means it is the perfect time to remember some good safety tips to get you through the sweltering summer. We have a few best practices that can help you have a healthy season.

Why Worry About Heat?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 65 are more at risk for heat-related health concerns. This additional risk can be attributed to certain medications, chronic illnesses, cognitive decline as well as age-related body changes that can make it more difficult to adjust to sudden temperature changes or self-regulate body temperature.

Unfortunately, heat-related illnesses can lead to emergency room visits, unexpected hospital stays and some other scary health situations. 

Up Your Water Intake

Risk of dehydration significantly increases in the summer season, which can lead to conditions such as urinary tract infections or acute confusion. When possible, skip caffeinated, alcoholic and sugary beverages and instead choose to drink water. Boost your water intake by keeping a water bottle near you at all times, whether you are in the house or out and about. If water is too boring, try adding slices of cucumber or citrus fruits for an all-natural flavor addition.

Evaluate Your Wardrobe

When possible, dress in loose-fitting clothing that can breathe easily. Lighter colors are best, so if you can avoid dark hues, do so. Wear wide brimmed hats or visors to take the beating sun off your head and face. 

More Outdoor Safety Tips

Be sure to apply sunscreen before heading outside, especially if you are out and about during the hottest and sunniest hours of the day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Stick to shady spots if you’re going to be outside for long and take rest breaks indoors when possible. Finally, when you’re active outside, take your normal activity level down a bit. Don’t rush, instead choosing to move at a more leisurely pace that will keep your body as cool as possible.

Check Your Air Conditioning

Be sure your air conditioning is in working order long before you need to turn it on for the first time for the season. It’s also helpful to have a fan or two within easy reach in case you are still feeling too hot inside. Some older adults avoid turning on their air conditioning for fear of running an expensive energy bill, which can lead to dangerous conditions in the home. If you have an older loved one, encourage them to keep their air conditioning on so they can stay cool and safe while they are at home.

Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness

Finally, it’s important to know the signs of a heat-related illness. Look for sudden dizziness, muscle cramps, feeling weak or uncoordinated, being nauseous, or having clammy skin. A rapid pulse, fainting and behavior changes can also be signs of more serious heat-related complications. If you’re concerned about yourself or your loved one, seek medical care.

Here’s to staying healthy and cool this summer season!

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