Heat Stress Avoidance Tips
by Seena Sweet
As we enter the warm summer months, here are some tips to prevent heat-related illness when hiking or performing strenuous activities in the hot weather:
Take Precautions to Avoid Heat Stress
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.
• Wear a hat outdoors.
• Drink water steadily in heat.
• Avoid hot foods, heavy meals, and drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine.
• Don't overexert yourself; walk at a steady pace.
• Take regular breaks in cool places.
Take Actions to Avoid Heat Stress
(tightness in the muscles of the arms, legs, abdomen):
• Drink water.
Heat exhaustion (weakness; dizziness; sweating; moist, pale, or flushed skin):
• Move to a cool place.
• Loosen clothes and apply cool compresses.
• Drink water slowly.
• Elevate feet 8—12 inches.
Heat stroke (lack of sweating; high body temperature; dry and hot skin; chills; strong rapid pulse; confusion):
• Treat as a medical emergency.
• Call for a doctor immediately.
• Move to cool area immediately.
• Use cool water to soak person's clothes and body.
• Fan the body.
• Don't give fluids if victim is unconscious.