In the summer, the heat can be a serious cause for concern. While most of us are happy to see more sunshine and nice weather, the high temperatures that are common in a Florida summer can be a serious hazard, especially to the young and the elderly. Very hot summer days can cause heat stroke, sun stroke, skin blistering, dehydration, and even death. Here’s how to stay safe this summer:
1) Never leave an elderly person, a child, or a pet alone in a car. Even with the windows open slightly, the heat inside a car can climb rapidly in just a few minutes. Being left alone in a car on a hot day is a common injury to children and children have died after being left alone in a car on a hot day.
2) Burn injuries are common in the summer. Keep in mind that seat belt buckles, playground equipment, toys left outdoors, car seats, chair surfaces, tables, and other items left outdoors can be hot enough to burn.
3) Know the signs of heat distress. Red, dry, and hot skin with no sweat is a sign of heat stroke, as is a high body temperature, strong pulse, headache, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. Anyone who appears to be in distress or who feels unwell because of the heat should get medical help immediately.
4) Stay hydrated. Even if you are not thirsty, sip water throughout the day. You may be dehydrated even if you show no symptoms. Keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol can cause you to become more dehydrated. If you drink caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, drink more water or avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks completely on very hot days.
5) Make sure you and your loved ones wear sun block. A sun block, hat, and sunglasses all offer protection from the heat and sun. If you are sensitive to the sun, consider staying out of the sun between the late morning and early afternoon, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Also, check your medications. Some medications make you more susceptible to sunburn or heat-related illness.