With summertime here and daily temperatures over 100 degrees, it is time for a reminder on staying hydrated and avoiding heat-related illnesses.
The most important thing to remember is to drink more fluids than you think you need and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you follow the rule of thumb of drinking eight glasses of water each day, increase your intake to twelve to fourteen glasses of water. If your doctor limits the amount of fluid intake you have or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink now that summer is upon us. Also, avoid alcohol or sugary drinks as both cause you to lose more fluids than you are ingesting. Very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps. For those of you celebrating the Fourth of July with a few adult beverages, drink at least two glasses of water for every glass of beer or ounce of alcohol that you consume.
It may seem obvious but try and stay indoors with air conditioning during the day’s hottest hours. If you have been outside, a simple way to get your body temperature down is to take a cool shower.
When outside, wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Also, be sure to drink two to four glasses of cool water for each hour that you are outside and more if you are engaged in physical exertion. A wide-brimmed hat helps as does staying in the shade. While in the sun, use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and make sure it says “broad spectrum” so that you avoid both the UVA and UVB rays. Also remember that if you start to feel dizzy, have an elevated body temperature, headache, nausea, vomiting or stop sweating, get indoors immediately, start cooling off and call 911.
Be happy on the inside and the outside – drink lots and lots of water.


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