Hot summer weather is perfect for spending a day at the pool. If you’re stuck working outside in the sun, however, it can be dangerous. Jobs like construction or gardening leave you exposed to elevated temperatures for hours, increasing the risk for health care issues like heat stroke. Luckily, there are ways to keep cool and protect yourself. The following tips are a good start.
5 Health Care Tips for Staying Cool When Working in the Heat
1. Stay Hydrated
When it’s hot out, you sweat and lose more fluids than you normally would. Avoid dehydration by drinking water every half-hour. Beware of caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, exacerbating dehydration and causing you to urinate more frequently.
2. Put on Sunscreen
Heat-related illnesses aren’t the only health care threat that comes with outdoors work. Exposure to UV rays increases your risk for skin cancer. Protect yourself with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Make sure to reapply every hour, especially if you’re sweating.
3. Time Your Workday
The sun’s rays are strongest from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Try to limit your outdoor work during these times when possible. Adapt your schedule for summer by doing more in the early morning or evening.
4. Get Wet
Sweating cools your body as the moisture evaporates from the skin. Mimic the effect by actively spritzing yourself with water, whether it’s from a garden hose or your water bottle. You can also place a wet towel in the freezer overnight and then hang it around your neck; the cold water will be soothing as it melts.
5. Know Your Limits
Even if you’re physically fit, don’t push yourself in the heat. Take breaks in a shady spot to cool down and rehydrate. If you’re feeling ill, alert a coworker or manager. Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, light-headedness, lack of sweating, nausea, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat.
If you notice signs of heat-related illness, head to Carolina Doctors Med Care for assistance. Located in Sanford, NC, this internal medicine practice offers cutting-edge care and friendly service. Their team is dedicated to educating patients about health care, taking a proactive approach to prevention. Visit their website to review their range of services, including diabetes management, sports physicals, and drug screenings. For an appointment with a compassionate doctor, call (919) 774-3680.