When it is hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally, your body cools itself through sweating but when it is hot and humid sweating is not enough and the result can be heat illness.
Follow these suggestions below to stay cool when working outdoors in the heat.
- Wear loose, light-colored clothing and some type of hat.
- Adapt to working in hot conditions gradually, especially if performing strenuous tasks.
- Take breaks in the shade when possible.
- Avoid overexerting yourself during peak temperature (midday).
- Drink liquids frequently, even if you don't feel thirsty. At least eight ounces every 20-30 minutes. Choose water, fruit juice or sports drinks. Stay away from drinks with caffeine which can dehydrate you.
- Be aware of the weather conditions and plan clothes, beverages accordingly.
- Heat cramps-sever muscle spasms in the back, stomach, arms, legs which are attributed to the loss of body salt and water during heavy periods of perspiration. To treat heat cramps, move to a cooler area and drink 6 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with medical exam.
- Heat Exhaustion- heavy sweating , cool or pale skin, nausea, headache, weakness, vomiting and fast pulse. To treat heat exhaustion, move to cooler area and lie down with legs slightly elevated. Cool body by fanning and applying cool wet towels. If conscious, drink 6 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with medical exam.
- Heat Stroke- high body temperature, sweating stops, red and often dry skin, rapid breathing and pulse, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, confusion or unconsciousness. To treat heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately. Heat stroke can be life threatening so it is important to move fast and seek medical attention as soon as possible. In the meantime, move to cooler area, remove outer layer of clothing. Immerse in cool water if possible or apply several cool wet clothes to the body. DO NOT give them liquids.