Summer is that part of the year that everyone looks forward to experiencing and enjoying. For people who live in the tropics, they may not be able to relate to this feeling of excitement that is associated with the season of summer, because they rarely experience very low temperatures as they perpetually bask in the warmth of the Sun all year round. But, for those people that are winter folks, summertime is that time of the year to be looked forward to with great anticipation. Although, a lot of accidents have been found to be more rampant during this season as people carry out a lot of extra-curricular activities and tend to spend more of their time outside. Heat-related problems like heat rash, Sunburn, heat exhaustion or even worse Sunstroke are also one of the characteristic predicaments experienced in summer. HOME AIR CONDITIONING CAN HELP YOU AVOID HEAT EXHAUSTION IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER.
Most homes and offices make their spaces cool with fans or air conditioners, but the latter has been found to be the more preferred and efficient. During very hot periods, fans have been known to also blow the hot air thereby providing very little solace or comfort. Air conditioners have greatly been improved on, as there are now come with different cool features that make them even more efficient and awesome.
Heat exhaustion is the body overheating due to both internal and environmental increase in temperature. Heat exhaustion is a disorder that is closely related to loss of water and salt, without the body’s temperature not cooling down. It could also be experienced when engaging in physical activities, sports or basic exercises in hot situations with the body unable to balance the change in temperature through sweating or urination.
On my very first visit to the Emirate of Dubai, I was opportune to have a firsthand experience of the high temperature of the desert. I was wearing a Suit to look the part of a Medical Doctor because the purpose of my visit was medically related. I had to remove my suit for relief. It was not until that moment, that I appreciated the effort of the city’s infrastructure. There were industrial air-conditioning systems everywhere and the only time you feel the heat briefly is when you’re transitioning from your transport to the confines of your house. My brief episode with the blazing Sun was only due to my curiosity about the environment, I quickly realized it wasn’t safe for my skin and my body system. I looked for the nearest train station and was greatly relieved instantly.
Heat Exhaustion First Aid Tips from a Doctor
How would one identify heat exhaustion and certify that it’s not simply the mind being feeble, scared or playing tricks? One of the easiest ways to know is when the color of the urine is dark coupled with profuse sweating and dizziness.
Other symptoms include:
- Rapid pulse rate
- Low blood pressure
- Urinating in small quantities
- Heightened thirst
- Muscle cramps
Once you have realized you have heat exhaustion;
- Move to a well-aerated area with shade, protecting you from the sun.
- Dresses and accessories should be removed.
- Ice packs should be placed over the forehead and other parts of the body
- In the absence of ice packs, simply apply towels or a piece of fabric in cold water and apply to different areas of the skin.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Heat Exhaustion
Typically, once the body system is assisted in cooling down, it will gradually be able to pick up speed and maintain the normal temperature. Recovery is normally within a few hours depending on the intervention provided and the severity of the situation before it was noticed.
Heat Exhaustion Treatment
The best form of treatment is to carry out the first aid tips discussed earlier by moving the person into a place with air-conditioner. If the fever keeps rising, then call your emergency services to prevent heat stroke.
Top 10 Tips to Avoid Heat Exhaustion
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“Heat Stress in Older Adults|Extreme Heat”, 2018), adults tend to suffer more from heat exhaustion because of the aging body metabolism and presence of other metabolites that may have been introduced in the treatment of one chronic disease or the other. The following bits of advice are very important for everyone to follow and not just the older adults alone. Although the younger adults tend to have a faster metabolism and seldom suffer from chronic diseases at this stage of their life, they tend to do a lot of exercises and partake in vigorous sports that may increase their body temperature. So, if the process of homeostasis is impaired in this situation they will also be faced with the dangers heat exhaustion brings and it is not well dealt with, it may lead to heat stroke causing multiple system failures including the nervous system.
I think we should be pretty nervous if we discover our brains are in danger of dying just from mere overheating. The tips below will keep you calm and guide you on what to do:
- According to Corey Whelan (Whelan, 2018), the most important and significant of them all is to stay in an air-conditioned place. If you’re stranded or do not have one, you can spend some time in malls or movie theatre as they provide great comfort and relief throughout the day. But, you should get an air-conditioner into your house if you don’t have one, it is crucial for your health especially on hot days.
- Wear light clothing while still maintaining modesty responsibly.
- Put on light-colored dresses preferably white, as darker colors have been found to conserve heat, most especially the black color.
- Make sure to get hydrated a lot. Water intake is always advisable for a healthy life and its importance is even more critical in maintaining proper metabolic functions. So, during the summer period, drinks water and take showers more regularly.
- Swimming is a great fix for outdoor sports which exposes one to numerous heat-related problems during the intense sunny days. For the avid lover of sports and exercise, indoor gyms are the best to patronize during these hot months because most of them are well equipped with air-conditioners and you can hit the showers immediately after a gym session.
- Get straw hats, caps and dark shades during this period, as they protect your face and your head from direct heat from the sun rays.
- One can also wear sunscreens when venturing outside to protect any exposed areas of your skin from freckles, sunburn etc.
- Check the weather regularly before going out of the house, to prepare adequately for any eventuality.
- Visit the parks, riverside, and beaches as they are known to be very cool and you get an extra bonus with the surrounding trees creating a cover with their vast canopy. The feel of the wind on one’s face during the summer is always a priceless gift to cherish as it is rare to come by in most places.
- Fans are good but not the best option, especially on very hot days.
Heat Stress in Older Adults|Extreme Heat. (2018). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/older-adults-heat.html
Whelan, C. (2018). Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms, Self-Care, and More. Healthline. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/heat-exhaustion#risk-factors