Day 247-Wednesday’s Medical Minute-How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

So, yesterday part of my Tuesday tasks had to do with trimming up or removing some small bushes in the back yard on what is the outside wall of the garage. Evidently, I did all of the wrong things, which may have lead to me having a few symptoms of heat exhaustion. Let me tell you about it:

First- I wore a sleeveless black and white (mostly black) although, loose fitting shirt.

Second- I started said task at 3pm and worked until 4:30ish

Third- I decided to cool off with a ginger beer instead of tea or water

Fourth- I did not wear a hat or sunscreen, I did however, wear bug repellant

Ok, so here are the things you are supposed to do to prevent heat exhaustion:

  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes since dark colors hold heat in and don’t let your body cool down properly
  •  Avoid sunburn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and applying sunscreen-having sunburn reduces your body’s ability to rid itself of heat
  • Drink lots of fluids and avoid alcohol
  • Take extra precautions when taking certain medications- ask your doctor how to keep safe while taking certain medication if he thinks they make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion
  • Seek a cooler place-find a shady spot or go inside for a break, under a fan is not adequate with heat and humidity
  • Avoid hot spots like your car when its been sitting closed up in the heat-let your car cool off before driving it and never leave anyone parked in a hot car for any length of time. On a hot day, the temperature can rise 20 degrees F in just 10 minutes!

If you must work in the heat, take several breaks and drink plenty of fluids to help regulate your body temperature.

According to the Mayo clinic these are the possible signs and symptoms following prolonged exposure or even suddenly if you’ve been exercising or working in the heat:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

If any of thee signs or symptoms are present you should:

  • Stop all activity and rest
  • Move to a cooler place
  • Drink cool water or a sports drink

If you don’t get relief within an hour, seek medical attention. Also, if your body temperature reaches 104F or higher, seek help right away.

So one of the things I did do was recognize I had overdone it in the heat and moved to a shady spot, put the fan on myself and try to rest. Unfortunately, drinking the ginger beer affected my body’s ability to regulate my temperature and I could not cool down. Soon after, I was so tired I had to lay down and close my eyes for about 30 minutes, and after drinking some iced tea, I came back around.

Whew! Don’t let this happen to you, especially now that the temps are on the rise (at least here in Texas). Know your limits. Stop and take breaks. Get out of the sun to rest. Wear a hat for God sakes and above all, drink water!! Don’t assume that because you’ve seen the guys cooling off with a cold one after mowing the lawn that it’s the right thing to do for you. Cause…it wasn’t for me.

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

Have you ever had heat exhaustion or heat stroke? Have you known anyone that did? What did you do? Tell me about it in the comments, maybe you have helpful suggestions I never thought about.

Join me tomorrow on the patio when I either do a Throwback or a product review, I haven’t quite decided yet…just be there! You won’t want to miss it, plus, I appreciate and count on each and every one of you!

 

 

 

 

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