Heat Safety: Protecting Not Only the Kids

If the red, white and blue weren’t clue enough, the grocery sales, fireworks and talks of the Peachtree Road Race serve as our reminder the 4th of July is near. Remember to take care of yourself while celebrating outside in the heat.  Seniors especially are more vulnerable to the dangerous effects of heat. Understanding heat safety for children, adults, and senior adults is crucial to making the most out of your Fourth of July weekend! 

Below are 3 tips to keeping safe while celebrating Independence Day outdoors.

1. Drink plenty – just not the booze.

Drink a variety of fluids, and plenty of them. Opt out of caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration. Dehydration can increase risk of stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure. Dehydration is also one of the leading causes for hospital admission among seniors. Replace lost sodium and potassium from sweating with drinks such as Gatorade or Pedialyte. Even if you’re not thirsty, take a drink!

2. Appropriate clothing, and timing, is a must.

While outdoors, dress for the heat. Hats, sunscreen, and sunshades are as vital as lightweight shorts and t-shirts. Plan your day to be indoors at peak hours, 11-3. If your plans require being outdoors all day, seek out shade and take frequent breaks from strenuous activities. Try soaking a small towel or cloth in cool water and placing around your neck or on top of your head to help cool off.

3. Eat right. 

While the summer heat is baking us all, limit the heat of the kitchen to the grill outside. Skip slaving over your stove for your side dishes. Complete your barbecue with fresh salads, juicy melons, pasta salads, and other easy to make cold dishes.

Confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea are all signs of heat exhaustion. If recognized, take necessary steps to cool down the victim of heat exhaustion and seek medical attention. Plan ahead and follow the recommended steps to avoid heat exhaustion to make the most out of your Fourth of July holiday!