We are now in the swing of summer, but the rising temperatures can put our health at risk. Dr. Barry Rosenthal, chair of the department of emergency medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital, said, “Although preventable, many heat-related illnesses, including deaths, occur annually. Older adults, infants, and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to the heat if one does not take appropriate precautions.”
Dr. Rosenthal suggested some helpful tips in order to keep you and your family safe this summer and lower your risk of heat-related complications. For starters, staying in air-conditioned buildings is your safest bet. If your home is not equipped with AC, then opt for public spaces like community centers or libraries to stay cool.
Another tip is to wear loose-fitting light-colored clothing. It’s important to also wear a hat or use an umbrella to ward off the sun rays. Don’t forget to regularly apply sunscreen on the exposed skin. Staying hydrated is also important for preventing heat-related illnesses, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and sugary beverages is also a good idea as these can dehydrate your body.
You should speak with your doctor about any medications you are taking because some of them may cause negative reactions if you are exposed to heat. For example, diuretics can be harmful in hot temperatures. Your doctor can advise you of any risks associated with your medication and advise you on how to avoid any potential complications.
You will also want to limit any strenuous activity during hotter temperatures and save these activities for the early morning or late evening when it is cooler.
Rosenthal concluded, “At first signs of heat illness — dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps — move to a cooler place, rest a few minutes, then slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if conditions do not improve.”
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Kidney stones, chronic kidney disease risk may increase with high temperatures: Study.