This has been a record setting year for temperatures in St. Augustine Florida and across much of the country. Weeks on end of scalding temperatures have left landscapes scorched and have resulted in numerous fatalities, namely among the elderly. Which as you know our state of Florida has an older population.
My fiance, Dan, is retired from the Centers for Diease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. He shared with me some tips from the Center for those who have decided to brave the heat.
- Keep hydrated. This means cool, non-alcoholic beverages, since alcohol dehydrates you further. Don't wait to drink until you're thirsty. At that point you're already dehydrated.
- Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing. Dark colors attract and absorb light, so opt instead for white cotton or linen fabrics. Natural fabrics "breathe" more than synthetic.
- Avoid strenuous activities. Each year we hear of the tragic deaths of athletes who have died from exercising in extreme heats..
- Remain indoors, preferably in air-conditioning, during the heat of the day. If you don't have AC at home, then visit a public place that is cooled, such as the mall or library.
- Have elderly adults and those on prescription meds talk to their doctors about recommended daily water intake. The elderly are unable to adjust as quickly to the heat as their younger counterparts and may also be on a list of prescription meds that keep the body from regulating temperature.
- Take cold showers or baths
You also need to know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. You may just save the life of someone you love.
Heat exhaustion is typically characterized by heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, fainting, cool and moist skin, fast and weak pulse, and fast and shallow breathing.
Even more severe is a heat stroke. The CDC reports that signs and symptoms of a heat stroke include:
- An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
- Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
If you are experiencing any of these symptons, please call 911 or go to the emergancy room immediately.
In the scorching summer, It's important to be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, it just may save your life.