Summer is finally here, bringing lots of outdoor fun, bright sunshine, and at times, severe heat. With all this warm enjoyment outside, it is easy to forget that exposure to Houston severe heat can be a health hazard. Learn how to avoid sun stroke and recognize sunstroke symptoms while still enjoying the good things that summer offers.
How to Avoid Sun Stroke
1. Limit sun and heat exposure at peak times.
During times of severe Houston heat, stay indoors during the hottest times day, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Seek air-conditioned, cool sheltered areas or well-shaded parks. Indoor recreation options you could try as alternatives include shopping malls or movie theaters.
2. Remain well hydrated.
Drink at least two liters of water every day, especially during a severe heat wave. Stay away from alcohol or caffeinated beverages; these substances will increase the risk of dehydration.
3. Dress for the weather.
Stay away from dark colors that attract heat. Choose light colored, comfortable, featherweight fabrics that allow air to circulate across your skin. Cotton and linen clothing are always good choices. Also, don’t forget to wear a protective cap or wide-brimmed hat.
4. Maintain a cool living space.
Leave windows wide open to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home. Keep curtains closed during the day to shut out the sun and heat. Have fans operating to keep the air circulating and use an air conditioning unit.
5. Avoid strenuous activity.
When the outdoor temperatures soar, do not overexert yourself. Avoid intense exercise and other physical activity like cutting grass, moving furniture or landscaping work during the peak hours of the day. If you have no choice, pace yourself and fill up on water.
6. Watch for sunstroke symptoms.
Older adults and children are more prone to sunstroke; their bodies are less equipped to handle temperature variations effectively. Keep them hydrated and sheltered in a cool area. Health issues including obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and high blood pressure render sufferers more vulnerable to sunstroke. People with conditions need special attention during the severe heat.
7. Keep your baby out of the heat.
Infants have a hard time regulating their body temperature. Any change in exterior temperature can be a serious problem for babies; they are very susceptible to sunstroke. It is important to keep watch during a heatwave. Sunstroke symptoms for infants include: no tears when crying, dry mouth, the soft area on the head appears sunken in, or if they have not urinated for over eight hours. Babies should never be exposed to the sun or severe heat for long stretches of time.
8. Watch out for medicinal side effects.
Some prescription drugs can interfere with the natural process of perspiration or urination, making it difficult for the body to maintain the proper temperature during extreme heat. This can increase your risk of developing health problems during times of high heat.