You Have to Hydrate during a Heat Wave

summer, heat wave, Heat Dome, hydration

Hydration is key to staying healthy during this summer’s extreme temperatures caused by a “Heat Dome” over much of the United States.

“These high temperatures create dangerous conditions for children and adults alike,” said Anna Richie, MD, and clinical director of urgent care for Memorial Care. “For those who have to be outdoors, it is vital to drink plenty of liquids, take indoor breaks when possible and pay attention to signs of heat-related illness.”

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • A fast or faint pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Clammy or cold skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache

The average adult requires at least ten cups of fluids (preferably water) daily just to keep the body running smoothly and replace fluids throughout the day. That number increases when the temperatures rise. It is also important not to rely on caffeinated beverages as your main source of fluids. Avoid alcoholic beverages since alcohol makes your body lose water.

For outdoor workers, it is important to acclimate using shorter shifts until the body adjusts to the heat, stay well hydrated, take frequent rest and hydration breaks in shade and designate a buddy to watch for signs of heat-related illness.

 “Take the heat warnings seriously,” said Dr. Richie. “If you can avoid being outside between noon and 4 p.m., do it. Heat is a leading weather-related killer in the United States and can also cause cramps, exhaustion, rash and even stroke in some people.”

Related Articles

Summer Hydration Tips: Healthy Choices to Quench Thirst

Ticked Off: How to Avoid Summer Pests

The Good News and Bad News about Your Summer Glow