Surviving the Summer Sun

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The summer can be fun, but the record breaking heat can also be dangerous.

If you don't follow a few simple rules, you can find yourself in a life threatening situation.

Triple digit temperatures can wreak havoc on your body, whether you work or play under the hot sun.

"The heat can raise your body temperature and also can dry you out," Sharon A. Wilkerson, Ph.D., R.N., acting dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing said.

Wilkerson says you need to prepare for the heat.

"First you need to make sure you have shade if you possibly can," Wilkerson said. "You need to have a hat to keep the sun off of your face and then you need to make sure you are constantly drinking water."

You also should dress for the heat. It's best to wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Experts also say avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day.

The two most common heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is when you feel week, dizzy and your temperature may go up a bit. Heat stoke is more severe. You can lose consciousness, and it can cause major damage to your body.

"If you actually don't take care of the heat exhaustion going into the heat stroke you probably are going into heat stroke," Wilkerson said. "You probably are going to end up in the hospital and it can potentially cause damage to the brain. It can also cause damage to other parts of the body."

For more information to keep you safe during the summer, click on the links listed below.

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