CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) As the heat of summer begins to creep into the 80s and 90s this week, health care professional are reminding people to stay healthy to beat the heat.
Dr. Tyler Barrett, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that staying hydrated is one of the best things everyone can do to stay healthy this summer.
“The most important advice is stay hydrated and be responsible for yourself and those around you. Be sure to wear loose fitting, light colored clothing to reflect the sun, wear appropriate sun block, and drink both water and electrolyte-containing drinks,” Barrett said. ‘ This is especially important if exercising, spending long hours on the water, or engaging in activities causing excessive sweating.”
Dr. Barrett said monitoring your intake and output is essential in determining hydration.
“One of the best ways to know if you are hydrated is the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow and concentrated, then you need to drink more fluids,” he said.
Being responsible for yourself is important, but making sure others aren’t displaying signs of overheating is equally important.
“If someone appears tired, overheated, or sweating profusely, immediately remove them from the heat,” Barrett said. “Be especially careful with children four years old and younger, elderly, and individuals with diabetes, heart or lung disease who are at increased risk.”
Heat-related illness can cause muscle cramps, headache, prickly heat rash, nausea, leg swelling, and feeling faint.
Call 911 immediately if someone is confused after being in the heat.
“Confusion is an important symptom that may mean heat stroke, a life threatening condition,” Barrett said. ‘While waiting for EMS, move the patient to the coolest safe environment possible, have someone stay with the individual at all times, and cool the individual by spraying tepid water on them and fanning them if possible.”
Summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy nature, but do so safely and apply good health practices while in the heat.