By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
It’s hot outside, so make sure you stay hydrated. Give the yard a break, but don’t cut back on yourself. Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on how much of your body’s fluid is lost or not replaced. Severe dehydration is a life-threatening emergency!
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty until you drink water. Stay one step ahead of the thirst and drink water throughout the day. Don’t rely exclusively on thirst to tell you when you need to grab something to drink. Sometimes thirst is not a reliable gauge, especially when you’re exercising, on a working incident, training or if you’re taking medications or have a health condition.
Keep a water within reach — at all times. Do you take regularly rehab breaks during an incident? Make sure you do! Keep water at moderate temperatures. You drink more fluid when it’s just the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. Beware of certain energy drinks. Popular energy drinks are very different from sports drinks. They are full of caffeine and sugar, and can be dehydrating instead of thirst-quenching.
And don’t forget the pets.
Keep cool, stay safe and hydrated!